Descriptive Writing Exercises


Sensory Detail

I decided to go on a quick midnight stroll as sleep would not visit. The weight of my eyes and the crackling of my bones were begging me to keep still. I did not listen to them. A strong sense of wistfulness had demanded that I stay awake. The echoes in my heart were longing to breathe in the crisp air outside, to perhaps bask in the dim moonlight in order to feel a certain semblance of living.

The night wore an eerie silence. It was as if life had taken a momentary pause in order to allow itself to merely be - perhaps to allow its inhabitants to question who they really were. The wind played around from time to time, shaking the moonlit leaves, sometimes making something audible to suggest that it was watching. A chill would rush through my body from time to time. I was reminded that I had no gloves on, my hands exposed to the bite of a calming wind. 

As I looked up, I felt myself enthralled in the majesty of creation. The stars were alive. They were accompanying the moon in their nightly sojourn - and I, as a witness, felt grateful to have partaken in their wondrous spectacle. The stars dotted the sky in the same way as the trees conquered this village I was staying in. The wind, this malevolent wind, was speakings its volumes despite its uninterrupted silence. It was asking me to take in life, to take in the world for how beautiful it ought to be.


Unexpected Detail

Stepping inside the airport felt like signing a personalised contract for damnation. He was about to migrate to Vancouver, a city that seemed to gleam with promise and escape. He glanced at his silver watch, its sides bruised and scratched like an elite boxer, to check how much time he had before boarding. “Five hours,” he mustered.

He had to search for the proper boarding area to get his luggage checked in. With the weight in his heart, he plopped over two luggage pieces to check them into his flight. They felt like cinder blocks that carried all of his identity. Was he really about to ship himself and his entire being to a foreign country? Unfortunately, he had no time to think about it. His passport was checked, his boarding pass was issued, and in the back of his head, he could imagine the personalised contract being laminated.

He slowly walked towards his boarding area, passing by different shops that sold a variety of treats and beverages. With coffee and scone in hand, he sat himself near the window with a clear sight of the paved runway and its metal denizens. Was he really about to move to a new country at 21? He never really thought about it. Most people would have envied him - but he could never see the point. Why move yourself so far from the people you hold dear? Why extricate yourself for a comfortable lifestyle? He could never fathom a worthy answer. Maybe they would come in the fit of the night, maybe they would arrive when he was not expecting them.

After some hours, his flight started to board the necessary passengers. People began lining up in front of him. He eventually got up and placed himself in what seemed like a conveyor belt of a line. With passport and boarding pass in hand, he was ready to sign his life away. “Flight to Vancouver?,” the lady asked him. He muttered a yes that somehow felt heavier than before. His boarding pass was checked before he was asked to proceed into the bridge. With all hesitation, he made his way into the airplane, put his luggage overboard, plopped down into his seat, and stared again into the darkness of the window. The contract had already been filed, he said. He was about to leave everything behind.