T'eyla Minh (teylaminh) wrote,
T'eyla Minh
teylaminh

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free creative writing training

courtesy of jerry hope and sigmund freud ;)

today we did an exercise in creative writing/psychological analysis/symbolism and it freaked most people out when we found out what it meant. try this for yourself, it's really very bizarre. you don't necessarily have to do the 'creative writing' part, but go through the exercise and see what you end up with. (i've included the bits i wrote down as lj-cuts, with added comments in these: '{' and '}', followed by what the hell it could possibly mean...)

Symbolism Exercise (quoted from memory as spoken to us...)

Close your eyes. Imagine you are waking up. When you do, you realise that you're not in your own bedroom, but another one, the bedroom you've always wanted. Imagine it. What does it smell like? What does it look like? Can you hear anything? Is it cold or warm?

Leave the room and explore the rest of the house. Again, what does it look like and smell like? How many rooms does it have?

Describe the house.



Awakening to the smell of wood and herbs, I looked around. The focal point of the room was the large, leaded windows at the far end, with rich red and purple drapes and wooden window seats. These were west-facing, looking out over the sea with a perfect view come sunset. The room was warm despite the chill outside, obvious from the frost on the panes.

The landing was tiled in a black and white chessboard pattern, diagonally set to make the narrow corridor appear wider than it was. The doors were all painted the same greenish shade, the paint faded and cracked.

Two staircases were visible: one, a narrow, poky one, appeared to lead to the converted attic, which housed a garret of sorts. Windows adorned both sides of the room, giving it a light and airy feel. The surfaces were covered in scraps of paper. At one end was an old-fashioned typewriter; at the other, a computer.

The other, main staircase, a huge, curving monstrosity with wider steps at ground floor level, and ornate bannisters, led into a foyer with the same floor tiles as the landing. {that'd be 'sunset boulevard' on the brain. one day i'm going to have a huge frell-off norma desmond staircase, dammit...}

An average-sized country kitchen sat off to the left, through a similarly painted door. Also on the left, the dining room, with an adjoining door to the kitchen.

To the right - a library ful of leather-bound books, and containing a walnut=panelled grand piano that matched the shelves, and a huge floor rug depicting the Maiden and the Unicorn.

Off the library, the lounge, all panelled and decorated in lush crimson and deep orange. All mod-cons were conveniently hidden in cupboards fitting to the decor of the room.

Double, stained-glass-windowed doors led out into the front yard of the house, where a long gravelled path led away to wrought iron gates and the cliffs and countryside beyond. {this house, by the way, is to be situated somewhere on devon's west coast, where you literally get forest-->field-->cliff-->sea, in that order...}


Leave the house by whatever means. Outside, you find a path, leading off into the countryside at the back of the house. You follow the path for a few minutes, and then you stop when you see a cup lying in the middle of it. Describe the cup.


The cup ont he path was small and white, with a little round handle just barely large enough to fit one finger through. The china was delicate in appearance, but deceptively strong, and, upon closer inspection, was slightly patterned in a pale blue. The intricate spirals of the pattern created a filigree-esque lace effect, adding to the overall delicacy of its appearance.

Turning it over, there was a barely legible hallmark on the base, but it was so small that the cup's origin could not be determined from it.


Put the cup down again, and step over it. Keep walking. As you walk, the path leads into a forest. The trees are sparse at first, but as you keep walking, they become denser and thicker overhead. The birdsong stops and it becomes very dark.

Just as you're considering turning back, you suddenly come to a clearing, and in the middle of the clearing is a garden. Take a good look at the garden. Is it overgrown, or is it cared-for? What sort of things are growing in it? How does it smell?

In the middle of the garden is a centre-piece. What is it? What is it made of?

Describe the garden.



The garden, oddly enough, was situated squarely and precisely in the middle of the clearing. On all sides was the dirt forest floor, a sort of greyish brown, and the trees of the forest. The sunlight seemed to pour directly over the garden.

Despite its position in the middle of a dense wood, it appeared to be well-tended and lovingly cared-for.

It was square, about seven foot each side, and edged by a white, low fence. It was quartered, each quarter the same so as to make it symmetrical. Flowers of all sorts grew in each of the segments, in bands of colour, creating a cocktail of floral smells.

In the centre stood a tall, trimmed apple tree, pruned to make it a perfect sphere, and surrounding it, a metal, slatted bench, in green.

Each of the flower-filled quarters was individually centre-pieced by a small fountain, each identical - round, fashioned from grey stone, with a scalloped rim. The fountain itself was a curved cone-shape, creating the effect, somewhat, of an upside-down, one-legged table.

The centre tree created shade over the bench; at noon, it was obvious, it would be perfectly aligned to cast equidistant shade over the entire bench.

The garden contained no obvious paths or points of entry, as if one needed to attend to it by hovering above. Birds chirped in the apple tree, a stark contrast to the silence of the woods.

There was an abandoned, open book on the bench, its pages ruffling in a sudden, slight breeze as if it had been suddenlt left behind by its owner having fled the scene.


You leave the garden and follow the path back into the forest, which grows denser again as you walk through it. It starts to clear, however, and you come to a stretch of grass. In the distance is a wall. When you come to the wall, you walk some distance along it to your left. Finding no doors or any way through or around it, you go back and head in the opposite direction. You find a door, ignore it for the time being and see if there's any other way around the wall. Finding nothing, you decide to head back to the door.

If you don't want to go through the door, stop now.

If you do, open the door and describe what is on the other side of it.



On the other side of the crumbling, red-brick wall, was a world in black and white, speckled and scratched like an old movie, but apart from this, apparently normal. {yup, definitely SB on the brain...} It was a small village street with people going about their usual business, apparently oblivious to the fact that they were monochromatic.

{then, i got the distinct impression that this was going to be the last thing we'd have to describe, and i ended it as you see next...}

[Turning to leave, I found that the door to this mysterious dreamworld had gone, seemingly melted into the wall again. Attempting to climb out, I fell and knocked my head on the floor. I awoke several hours later, to the same smell of wood and herbs...]

{thus repeating the cycle all over again...}


Keep walking from wherever you are. Eventually, you come to some water. Describe the water.


After blinking rapidly, the colour returned to the scene, and, passing it off as temporary insanity {hey, gotta get sarcasm in there somewhere...}, I continued over a hill. The water was audible before it was visible, a rippling, trickling sound. It turned out to be a brook, shallow and lined with pebbles, emanating from a spring some miles away.



that's it.

now for what all the things represent.

the house = how you view your life
the cup = how you see yourself
the garden = how you see your childhood
the centrepiece of the garden = how you treat your secrets
the wall = death
whether or not you go through the door = your attitude to beyond death
the water = your attitude to the afterlife

and, on reflection, it's so true it's scary. analysis possibly coming later ;)
Tags: university, writing: general
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