Writing Doodles: Hands

One of the hardest parts of writing is simply starting, especially when you have a big project to work on or something that’s personally important. Taking that leap to getting words onto the page is hard. I’ve known far too many people full of stories they never managed to finish because it felt like such a huge step to sit down and keep writing.

That’s why starting every work session with a writing doodle helps. If I was going to draw a picture, I might do a few quick sketches and squiggles and textures on the page before I actually began the work and this is the same thing. We do something that isn’t important to wake up our creativity and shake out any anxiety or self-doubt before the real work begins. Every Monday, I’ll post a new writing prompt to be used for a simple doodle. Write for five minutes without revision or rest, set what you wrote aside after the five minutes are up, and then get on with your project. I like to use Write or Die to keep track of my time and keep me focused.

This week’s prompt:

Describe a character’s hands. 

You’re welcome to post what you write in the comments, or you can keep it to yourself. No pressure. Here’s my doodle:

Only the tips of Jimi’s fingers were callused. His palms remained smooth, which Abarrane had noticed the first time she shook his hand and whenever she paid any attention to his hands those smooth palms drew her eye. Nails as thick and hard as horn capped his fingers, but he kept them short and neat. Not with the use of a knife or blade or gnawing teeth, not as near as she could tell, but maybe a file. A file seemed like the sort of thing he’d use. Once had she ever seen his fingers bleed after he played for hours working out a new melody, the thick layer of outer dead skin worn of to reveal the tender flesh beneath. Yet the softness of his palms always confused her. His life was not a soft one, with constant travel and whatever it was that had led to him losing his leg, yet somehow his palms were protected from all that labor. As if he only ever plucked at the world with his fingertips, playing it as expertly as he played the charango, and never having to reach any deeper into it.


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