Is Your Story Grounded?
Have you heard of ‘grounding’? It’s a technique used by people who have panic attacks. It involves taking note of the senses to get a feel for where you are and what’s around you. They suggest noticing the following things.
- 5 things you can see.
- 4 things you can touch.
- 3 things you can hear.
- 2 things you can smell.
- 1 thing you can taste.
The first time I heard of this, I thought what a perfect writing exercise it makes.
So, I tried it out, and you know what?
It really does help you build your world.
So they next time you’re stuck with your world building, try out this exercise.
Make a list of these things that are noticeable in your characters worlds. 5,4,3,2,1. Just like that.
Now figure out how to weave these observations into your scene. Don’t worry, you’re not going to use all of them in every scene. That’s overwhelming. But now that you know how your world is supposed to look, sound, smell, feel and taste, you can decide with details to leave in and which ones to leave out.
You can also do this exercise when you’re out and about. Anytime you’re anywhere, make notes about your surroundings in your notebook following this system and see how much faster, easier it becomes to build better worlds.