Breaking News

Camp Care Package #1: Create a sensory snapshot!

Author Devi S. Laskar is your Camp Counselor this week. Find all Camp Care Packages in Breaking News throughout the month of April, or learn more about Camp NaNoWriMo!

1) Create sensory "snapshots": 

Along with being a novelist, I’m a poet and photographer—and a former newspaper reporter. So I’ve got a bit of practice in keeping things short and creating “snapshots.” One of the best pieces of advice I ever received: try to engage your reader by engaging their senses. Most writers rely heavily on the eyes. A good writer will help the reader “see,” but a great writer will immerse their reader in the experience of standing next to the narrator of the story by including details that involve the other senses. 

Writing Dare: Write for ten minutes about where you are now: include details, for example, of the smell of toast burning in the toaster or the sounds garbage truck makes when backing up outside your window or the taste of curdled milk on your tongue or the burst of heat as you opened the dryer door to pull out a towel.

2) Give your character a list:

Feeling stuck giving your protagonist or narrator some personality? Make a list! 

Writing Dare: Make lists—food you love, foods that make your stomach crawl; books you have loved to re-read and books that you can’t move past page 3; songs that you know all the words to and songs that you associate with something bad. Then, give your protagonist (or other characters) some of these likes and dislikes in a scene!

author photo

Devi S. Laskar is a native of Chapel Hill, N.C., and holds an MFA from Columbia University. The Atlas of Reds and Blues—winner of the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature and the Crook’s Corner Book Prize—is her first novel. It was selected by The Georgia Center for the Book as a book “All Georgians Should Read” and named by The Washington Post as one of the best books of 2019. A former newspaper reporter, Laskar is now a poet, photographer and novelist.

What's up at Camp?

View All Breaking News