January 26, 2011

Practice Descriptive Writing Using the Book of Isaiah

Last night while I was reading the Bible, I discovered some excellent examples of descriptive writing in the Book of Isaiah. The purpose of descriptive writing is to reveal settings and characters through the use of vivid and carefully selected details. When writers write descriptively, they weave their words to entice readers to imagine while using all of their senses. Isaiah, inspired by God, does this beautifully.

One technique used to practice descriptive writing is to read and model well-written sentences and paragraphs. Read these examples from Isaiah. Then try the brief exercise at the bottom of the page.

"The women of Zion are haughty, walking along with outstretched necks, flirting with their eyes, strutting along with swaying hips, with ornaments jingling on their ankles." (Isaiah 3:16 NIV)

"I will remain quiet and will look on from my dwelling place, like shimmering heat in the sunshine, like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest." (Isaiah 18:4 NIV)

"I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: 'Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”'At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke." (Isaiah 6:1-4 NIV)

"You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands." (Isaiah 55:12)

Try it.

Begin with the sentence starters below. Add specific details to build two good descriptive paragraphs. Then look up the scripture verses following the sentences to see how Isaiah wrote them.

1. The Lord will take away all the women's fine clothing and accessories:
2. The blacksmith takes a tool...

Isaiah 3:18-23
Isaiah 44:12

How else might you use the Bible to enhance your creative writing skills?


Diane said...

INteresting writing prompt to try. Thanks for the tips. :O)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jean -

We can learn so much about writing from scripture. Jesus used stories and parables to get many of his points across.

Thanks for this unique way to practice descriptive writing.

Susan :)

Karen Lange said...

What a wonderful idea! I'll have to give this a try. Thanks Jean! :)

Susan Panzica - EternityCafe said...

Excellent suggestion! I love the exercise. Thanks so much.