Writing in-scene is one of the best things a writer can learn.

Here is a terrific exercise for writing in-scene using sense and want.

  • Write the alphabet down the side of the page
  • Write your own autobiography by choosing one NOUN for each letter of the alphabet. The noun should somehow signify one part of your life.  For example, — what’s the name of the street you grew up on, or what is one of your favorite hobbies?
  • Circle five of your nouns.
  • Make sure your noun is specific. For example, if you wrote dog for D, make it specific by telling us a kind of dog, like poodle mix J.  At this point, you may be changing the first letter of the noun, and that’s fine!
  • Write one sentence for each specific noun. (A sentence that describes or explains the noun).
  • Now circle two of those sentences.
  • Write a paragraph for each of those sentences. The paragraph should use at least two of your five senses to elaborate on the explanation or description of the noun.
  • Put yourself in that scene. Give yourself something you want and define something that is in the way.


  1. Dogs.
  2. Poodle Mix.
  3. I have two poodle mix dogs, Millie and Peanut. Peanut doesn’t like Millie and Millie couldn’t care less.
  4. I have two poodle mix dogs, Millie and Peanut. Peanut doesn’t like Millie and Millie couldn’t care less. The rain is steady and they are in the yard digging up buried sticks. I call them inside and they race and stumble inside, tracking their goodtime-paws all over the rug, reminding me how much I love them, and how love can smell like mud and wet fur, all mineral damp and dirty. Millie barks to be let out again, and scratches at the door, making a ruckus that syncopates with the rain, a kind of primitive music that plays in my head as I open the door and watch them dart between the drops.  (sound and smell).
  5. I let them do this before we go to the vet. It’s Millie’s last chance to feel grit in her nails, to feel superior to the irritating Peanut who will soon have the house to himself.





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