Three Writing Elements

I’ve been reading my writing fiction books again and found a great exercise with our senses. Karen E. Bender, an author of the book, “Now Write” explains three elements for good fiction.

Honesty, craft, and patience. She states that “honest writing is one way to look into someone else’s mind, to get a glimpse of what it is to be another human being.” We have different perceptions on everything in life, so honest writing can let us view how someone thinks.

Learning the craft of fiction helps us master the elements, such as dialogue, plot, sensory detail, etc. to best express our character’s feelings. Bender teaches that “patience will help you produce work better than you ever imagined you could.” I’ve learned that lesson each time my novel is edited.

Here is her exercise that I will try today: write two pages describing a memorable or important food. It can be something you love or hate, as long as it is memorable. Describe the food so the reader can clearly see/smell/hear/taste it. Is it in a package? How does it look on a plate? How do you eat it? and so on…

Has anyone tried this type of exercise before?



  1. Cathryn Grant · June 7, 2011

    I’ve tried other sensory exercises, but not this one. It’s a challenge describing taste and smell … I never thought about hearing food, that’s a great idea to add a new angle.


  2. Jennifer McFadden · June 7, 2011

    Describing food will be a challenge for me. I’m going to try it today….I’ll let you know how it goes. 🙂


    • Cathryn Grant · June 9, 2011

      How did the food description go? 🙂


      • Jennifer McFadden · June 10, 2011

        It didn’t go very well, I couldn’t think of too many descriptive words to write….I think it will take a bit of practice for me, lol


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