Descriptive Writing Exercise – Sight

Many writers use visualizations in their writing very well. Some of us still struggle with describing a room, a piece of fruit, or a sunset. We either go overboard or don’t use the right words. For this exercise, I want you to go through the descriptive word lists and pick out at least ten words that can be used to describe something visually. Choose ten that you don’t normally use. You will go overboard with this writing exercise, just like in all of them. You can go back later and edit if you’d like, but for the sake of practice, get it all out.



Exercise 1:

Take your list of ten words, go to a room in your home or go outside, whichever you prefer, and start writing about the things around you.

You don’t want to tell the reader what the character sees, you want to show them.

Telling them: The coffee pot was half full of coffee. John needed coffee to revive himself in his bleak surroundings.

Showing them: The clear carafe displayed the rich darkness of his caffeine fix. The fix he needed so desperately. His bleak surroundings, in this hazy gray hospital corridor, had left him with a feeling of sunken-ness.

Exercise 2:

Describe a tree in a field. A fence runs along the tree line at the far edge.


Ahead of me I could see an open field. I fought my way through the thick underbrush until I was finally free. A gentle breeze stirred long-stemmed red and yellow flowers into a rhythmic dance. In the midst of the blanket of color stood a lone tree, it’s branches reaching out in all directions, also swaying to the soft hum of the windsong. In the distance, far beyond the tree at the wood line, stood an old wooden fence, broken in places, left there long ago by some farmer.

Exercise 3:

Go to my Pinterest Board for some great visuals you can write descriptions about:

Example using the steak dinner from this post and adding some elements of sight to it:

I sat down to a fat, juicy ribeye steak dinner cooked to perfection. I took a few moments to enjoy how wonderful the slab of meat looked, the juices underneath were just the perfect tint of reddish brown. The green of the creamed spinach looked tantalizing next to the meat, laid out in an appealing manner on a white plate trimmed in gold. That first bite was bursting with flavor sending my tongue into a frenzy. The steak melted like butter in my mouth. I wanted every bite to last a lifetime. I’ve never had creamed spinach so good. I didn’t think I would even like this dish, but it was so delicious I’ll never think of it the same way again.

Descriptive words to consider using:

  • Abrasive
  • Bright
  • Cracked
  • Dark
  • Leathery
  • Pointed

Read all the posts under the descriptive writing category by clicking this link.

Happy Writing!