Writing Tip: Awaken Inanimate Objects

Photo 24There is a hand-crafted ship with black sails that collects dust atop my entertainment center. It serves no purpose but as decor amidst my pirate collection. When trying to lighten my load of trinkets, I didn’t have the heart to give it up. Why? Because it fascinates me every time I look at it; each part delicately placed by its maker. It is hard to believe such a complicated looking machine once sailed the seas. It symbolizes an era of freedom; a time when some men lived by no rules and when many lives were sacrificed in the name of piracy.

Do you have an item in your home you haven’t looked at lately? Maybe something of value is tucked away in the back of a hutch or a box in a drawer. If you are a writer, you have the power to bring it to life. It must have a story. Perhaps it has been passed down in your family or you received it as a gift. Blow the dust off and let the inanimate object do the talking.

Are you a collector of comic books, dolls, shot glasses, or even fine China? It takes years to acquire a decent collection of worth. You can take readers on a journey of each one. Tell their story and how each of them fell into your hands. You can even give some insight about the way you display them.

Hurston.jpgIf you have a unique collection – even better. You’d be amazed of the strange things people keep as trinkets: from sugar packets to toilet seat art – there are lists and lists on the Internet for the weird things people collect. But imagine what fascinating stories they could tell. I often wonder how such a collection started in the first place.

Don’t limit yourself to the objects adorning a living room or kitchen. Everywhere you go, there are inanimate objects being ignored. Give them a voice. How does that cigarette butt feel floating in a puddle? What is the crooked stop sign thinking as cars pass him by? Look at the most worn chair in a waiting room. Why is it favored more than the others? Imagine the stories an old tree or rock carving could tell. There are things that have seen years of history pass by, and if only we could get a glimpse through their eyes.

Think of the way animators bring objects to life on screen. Remember the French candlestick and his friends in Beauty and the Beast? Pixar brought life to all toys in Toy Story and all types of vehicles in Cars. In the TV show The Librarians, Excalibur was quite the feisty sword. The magic carpet in Aladdin didn’t speak, but it still had personality. And who could forget the bucket and broom escapades in Fantasia. Visualize objects as living things as these creators did, and breathe life into them on paper.

Written by: Donna J. Sanders

Donna is a freelance writer and blogger in West Palm Beach, FL. She is the author of Ataraxia – a poetry collection about the struggles we face, the state of the world and how to see beauty in the simplest things, and Cardboard Signs – poems to bring awareness about homelessness, mental illness, self-esteem and the injustices many face.

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Photo Credit: © Donna J. Sanders

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  1. Writing Tip: Awaken Inanimate Objects – TheRaven6825

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