Handout 1

Technique 1: Use verbs that name human actions example

Example 1
My running shoes skipped and jumped and hopped away from me as I tried to grab them to get ready to go the gym. “NO!” the left shoe shrieked. “Not again! We went to the gym yesterday and the day before and the day before that!”
The right shoe whined. The left shoe grimaced. The right shoe whimpered and sniveled and looked up at me with big, puppy dog eyes. The left shoe tried not to be noticed, glancing down and around at the ground before bounding into the closet. The right shoe tried to hide behind a dozing pair of hiking boots. I could hear its breathing. Shallow pants of apprehension. “No. Gym! Not. Going. To. Go!”
Example 2
The hiking boot laces wrapped around my fingers, strangling them as I tried to loosen then knot they were in. When did they decide to take control? I wondered. Squirming and wiggling like eels, they refused to obey my fingers. They mocked me, laughed at me, dared me to pull harder. I hate knotted shoelaces!

Technique 2: Write with adjectives that generally are used to describe people

Example 1
The computer keyboard at the library was terrified. It was almost time for the little kindergarteners to come in. Nervous, the keyboard watched the clock. It felt a cold sense of terror wash over it as the door opened. A storm of kids and feet and shouts and giggles poured into the library. Pounding, tickling, punching, slapping fingers and thumbs went to work on the keys.

Technique 3: Refer to objects, ideas, qualities, and colors using personal pronouns.

Technique 4: Give things human body parts.

Technique 5: Construct a personality for an object.