Challenge 6: Things

We invite you to get creative using objects and things - investing life into the inanimate and creating feeling.


The stimulus material:

This week, please find some of the stimuli around your home or out and about. Choose an object to write about.

2. Extracts

This file includes extracts from literature for your pleasure. They each include an element that links to this week's theme. Reading them will provide excellent examples of how to write about the theme as well as give you a chance to enjoy some amazing literary moments.

3. An Image-Based Story


Use a drawing or photo with questions to help you imagine a new story. Great for new writers and younger writers too.

This challenge requires you to look around your home and environment before you begin. You need to choose an object - any object. You can choose something from inside your house, from your garden, or something you have seen on a walk or while out and about.

Now look at that object; draw it; think about it. You might want to feel its texture, its temperature. Think about the sound it makes when it moves or when you move it. Does it fold or stand, or is it fixed? Is it precious? Do you love it or need it?

Then invent a story for it. Perhaps it is based on something true, a memory associated with it. But you might invent a story for it entirely. Is it ancient? Has it travelled? Is it an heirloom? Does it have a secret? Has it got powers? 

For this challenge, you might read a fairy tale or watch Aladdin to help get ideas. 

Once again, we invite your writing to be in different forms. You might write or create:

  • A story

  • A biography

  • An article

  • A graphic story / comic

  • A poem

You should:

  • Read and look through the stimulus material to help you come up with ideas.

  • Plan your work to help you think through what you want to create.

  • Use a dictionary and a thesaurus to help with vocabulary and spellings.

Possible titles might be (you can use your own if you want to):

  • The Volume of Space

  • Stuff and Things

  • My Precious

  • Belonging

  • When I found it

  • The day it broke


This challenge's criteria:


1. Word count


No more than 600 words or two pages if a graphic text


2. To describe an object in a way that gives it feelings and personality


This means to use powerful vocabulary to create vivid descriptions.


You might challenge yourself to:

  • Include similes and metaphors

  • Include alliteration

  • Include repetition

  • Include personification

  • Use different senses to give your writing depth


3. To use the thing to represent something


You could use the object to represent history or connections to the past.

You might also use your object to give your story a moral message.


4. Control the accuracy and effect of your writing


This means to use paragraphs, punctuation and vocabulary as accurately as you can.


You might challenge yourself by:

  • Using single word or single sentence paragraphs / stanzas to emphasise something or to create a specific feeling

  • Use a semi-colon to connect ideas together

  • Use an ellipsis to include a cliff hanger or to build expectation

  • Using compound words to create a new feeling. This means putting two words of your choice together to create a new description. For example: I could use 'honey-silk' to describe the texture of a cloak or dress.

  • Use easy words in fun new ways to surprise your reader. This can be using a verb as an adjective or an adjective that is used as a metaphor - for example, 'Her skin was sunshine and laughing'.

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