Objective vs Subjective Writing


Early in the Creative Writing Course I studied at Waiariki Institute (in Rotorua, NZ) one of our weekly exercises was to create a description of “a room” – firstly using an objective style, then a subjective style. Here are my two efforts. When you’ve read them through – tell me what Grade you’d give it for its effective meething of the brief, and why or why not you graded it as you did.

–  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –

The Lounge, objectively described

This living room is obviously of “minimalist” decor, with plain cream walls. The architect of the whole house has been conservationist in style, using recycled Rimu beams to support the ceiling. The floor is of varnished particle board; all very plain and functional. The wood-burning fire in the corner is sparse of colour or decorative effects. The room receives sun from dawn to dusk, so it’s warm more often than not. The only decorative touches – the landlord has left a white fringed, red floral rug in the centre of the room, and curtains of muted pink green and gold in abstract patterns. The residents have hung bland oil paintings. The furniture is an eclectic mix of aged and modern – grey leather and black and chrome electronic gear.

(127 words)

The Lounge, subjectively shown

Every grey, leather seat in the room has someone from the family on it. Everyone’s attention is on the person to tell about what has been happening in busy lives so far apart. Someone gets up to put some logs in the fire-box. Two are standing by the CD racks, debating the merits of AC/DC over Mega Death. The cat is on the floor, making us laugh as she wrestles the fringing on the end of the brightly coloured rug. Almost drowning out the simultaneous conversations is a sudden rush of calls from the trees outside the window, and we all pause, remembering how Dad used to put bird feeders for Silver Eyes and Tuis in every garden he’d ever had. The room is ready for him to walk in at any moment, and we’re all light hearted here.

(139 words)

© Lynne McAnulty-Street, Rotorua NZ, 2010

Okay – Grade me!