- Be colorful: Collect a handful of color swatches/palettes from a paint store. Back home, match a color scheme to the mood of your scene or character and use the clever color names as part of your description. (You can do the same thing with a box of crayon colors.)
- Ask your inner psychic: Use tarot cards for scene building. Draw cards for obstacles, characters, setting, and action. Don’t know how to read tarot cards? Who cares? Look at the pictures and go with the first thing you see. Don’t have tarot cards? Also not a problem. Tear out a bunch of random pages from a magazine and use those instead.
- Recite poetry: Rewrite your favorite poetry as part of a character’s inner dialogue or scene description (“I didn’t want to stop by the woods, I had to. If I didn’t, the damn horse I stole was going to drop dead in his snowy tracks.”)
- Get physical: Go for a walk, hike, run, bike ride, or just a stroll down the garden path. Look for things most people wouldn’t notice like a squadron of ants or the veins on the belly of a dandelion leaf. Go back and incorporate as many ‘unnoticeables’ as you can into your scene.
- Get Board: Remember all the games you played as a kid? What were your favorites? What ones did you detest? Write a scene showing characters playing an old-fashioned board game. Describe the sound of dice being rolled and the markers marching around the playing field. As the scene unfolds, reveal how a character feels about the game, and allow the game to evolve into a metaphor for something the character is experiencing in his/her life.