creativity / inspiration / writing

Look closer…

look_telescopeWhen I was little, I lived in two countries. This meant travelling a lot between one country and the other, and in the days before low-cost airlines, it involved long,complicated journeys on overnight trains and ferries. And this in turn meant having to keep busy. I couldn’t always bring enough fiction to keep me entertained for the whole distance, not without reading the same book over and over – which isn’t to say I didn’t do that! But when I got to the point that I could almost recite the words, I’d often reach for one of these instead…

Usborne holiday activity books

Activity books! (The set in the picture is published by Usborne, and wasn’t around when I was little – unfortunately, because it looks great!)

Among the many delights of my activity books were the quiz books with zoomed-in pictures, captioned “Guess What It Is?” Images like these…

zoomed picture

What is this? (1)

zoomed picture

What is this? (2)

zoomed image

What is this? (3)

Can you guess what they are? (The answers are at the end of this post.)

There are pages of “Guess What?” zoomed images at Floor Six and on Pinterest if you want to try more of these. And, of course, you could make your own close-up images and use them to test your friends and family.

You can also do this with words instead of pictures. In fact, it’s a great writing exercise, as well as a good game for long journeys.

Choose an object that’s close to you. Pick it up, or move nearer to it if it’s too big to lift. Turn the object in your hands, or in your imagination, until you’re looking at it from a different angle. Bring it close… closer… closer still… what do you see? Describe it. Can anyone guess what it is? Try it in the next story you write – or use your observations to inspire a story in the first place?

Have fun looking close… closer… closer…


With huge thanks to Hot Black at Morguefile for the telescope image, and also the peacock feather (1), kiwi fruit (2) and tiger eye (3). (Did you get them all?)

2 thoughts on “Look closer…

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