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Writing Challenge: the Devil is in the Details

This weeks writing challenge from WordPress is detail orientated. In their words: No matter what you’re writing, whether it’s long form non-fiction essays, poems, short stories, novels, or memoirs, your powers of observation are critical to creating a scene in the reader’s mind, setting tone, and evoking the mood that helps to tell the story.

Your challenge this week is to practice your powers of observation. Take any person, place, or event, and write three paragraphs describing your subject in great detail.

My usual writings don’t have as much descriptions as this will have.  Hope you enjoy.


The woman walked into the room. Her dark brown eyes didn’t miss a detail. She walked slowly, almost floating forward. Her very long black hair swayed back and forth with each soft step. The inky blue highlights sparkled in the candlelight as if she had small diamonds weaved through out her long tresses. Her eyes reflected the candle’s glow. Soft, yet with unyielding hardness in their dark depths.

Her  red lips held a small smile. It was a smile that lacked warmth. The lips themselves seemed carved out of the coldest marble. Not cruel exactly. Just hard and cold, as unfeeling as the marble itself. She was tall, this woman who walked as if she owned the world. Tall and lean. Like a panther, with her black hair and dark eyes. Her body was sheathed in black leather.  It suited her. The body was held tight within the leather, her long legs encased in it. The leather rounded her hips and cupped her breasts. Her neck and chest were bare except for a slim, small silver dagger pendant that hung there from a thin black leather strip.

Her arms  had long black leather studded with dark gems that encircled them from wrist to elbow. Her long fingers clasped a large bow in one hand.  The other hand was free, but never far from the lethal knife tucked in its case on her hip.

Her feet were shod with the skin of some animal, strong but supple.  She would blend in with the night. Like an opaque shadow. No one would hear her or see her till it was too late. She liked that. It is what she wanted. Her name was unknown. She was only called Waneta, which meant Defender.

No one knows where she came from. They just knew when she showed up, someone died. She defended those that could not defend themselves. The poor, the weak, the defenseless. She was feared by the evil ones. For it was those she went after. They never saw her come until it was too late. They certainly never saw her leave. She was darkness, smoke, shadows.

She watched them all, as she walked her panther walk. She stopped in front of an old woman. She knelt in front of her and the others could only hear whispers between them. The one strong and fierce, the other old and feeble. They watched as the old one cupped Waneta’s face with her gnarled hands. She whispered once more then smiled a toothless smile. Kissing the old one’s deeply wrinkled forehead Waneta then stepped back and dropped a small sack into the old woman’s lap.

She turned with unknowing grace and slipped back into the crowd and then the woods. Everyone she passed wondered who would die that night.


15 thoughts on “Writing Challenge: the Devil is in the Details

    1. It was actually a bit harder for me. If you will notice toward the end I got less and less descriptive. I didn’t notice myself till after I published it. I guess I need more practice.


        1. It was fun. Just goes against what I’ve been doing. I think I need more details in my writing. It’s just hard to find that line. When is it too much? But I think I’m going to try to put more in my stories. 🙂


  1. I liked this, too. I didn’t notice the lack of description later. It seemed to me your descriptive phase set the scene and the mood, and then you told the story. I was afraid it was going to be your true ghost story. 😉


    1. thanks again! Hmmm I will write about “Abe” tomorrow I think. I’ve been trying to think what to write about. I believe it’s time for Abe to be ‘seen’. 😉


  2. Hi Jackie
    I really enjoyed this – and am fascinated by Waneta! I found this exercise really liberating after the constraints of Friday Fictioneers – isn’t it great not to have to worry about how many words you’re writing! Great post 🙂


    1. Hey El! I really enjoyed doing this too. Doing a lot of descriptions is a bit hard for me, but I liked it. Yeah, I like Waneta too. I may continue her journey. 🙂


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