Writing Exercise Week 4: Jack it up!

Happy Friday, everyone! Right now, I’m looking out the window at all the snow, snow, icky snow.

Blah. I hate snow.

I still have to run, though, since I’m training for a half-marathon in February, but when the weather looks like this?


I’m on this …


… even though it sometimes feels more like a dreadmill than treadmill. So to motivate myself and make it more interesting, I often watch TV shows on Netflix – ones I’m not allowed to watch unless I’m running. (Or ones that make my husband cringe.) My latest show of choice?

Say Yes

This show certainly makes Bob cringe, but I love it, especially when Randy says it’s time to “jack her up.” Which means fixing the bride’s hair, adding veils, jewelry, necklaces, and all those wonderful finishing touches that make the total package.

You know where this one is going, don’t you?

Writing Exercise #4

Yes, for this week’s writing exercise, we’re going to take inspiration from Randy by jacking up an ordinary, so-so paragraph and making it shine with details, sights, sounds, and smells! 

Read the below paragraph. How can you add richness? What kind of details would make it sing or add back story without slowing the pace?

Like Shelby’s shoes. Is she wearing ballerina slippers that are torn and ragged through years of practice? Combat boots that have seen the hell of war? Orthopedic shoes that still smell like amniotic fluid?

And what kind of car is she driving, a brand-new Lexus she can’t afford? The Buick she stole from her boyfriend’s mother? Who is the neighbor and how does he greet her? What kind of stores did she pass on Main Street? Why is she late?

What does she see? What does she smell? What does she hear?

You’re allowed to break up the sentences, insert new ones, or replace words, whatever it takes to make the total package.

Are you ready? Okay, set your clock for fifteen minutes and jack it up, baby!

    Shelby stared at her shoes before walking out her apartment door. She found her keys and tried to start her car but the engine was dead. The town clock began to chime. She got out of her car and ran down the alley toward Main Street. A neighbor greeted her as she ran down the sidewalk, but she couldn’t stop. She was late.

For Illustrators:

For my artist friends, here’s an exercise given to me by the lovely Susan Detwiler, our regional illustrator coordinator:

    Depict an object or scene and use color and lighting to set the emotional mood

Happy writing and drawing, everyone! :)

About Laura Bowers

Laura is a writer, runner, reader, runDisney addict, and blogger at Write, Run, Rejoice and As the Eraser Burns. In the past, she's been a waitress, bartender, telemarketer, secretary, golf course cook, real estate agent, and during her broke college days, one of those costumed characters at holiday parades. (Memories of being terrorized as a candy cane still haunt her at night.) At the age of thirty, she decided to pursue her dream of being a writer. Her first novel, Beauty Shop for Rent, a “Steel Magnolias for teens,” was inspired by a rusted sign by a charming old house, and now, she can honestly say that writing is a thousand times more rewarding than being a candy cane!
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