Monday, 21 August 2017

Using prompts and dice: a creative writing exercise



It's been a while since I've shared a creative writing exercise with you. Something like this one I shared two years ago, which was inspired by weird lines I was saying for Vocal ID. Right now I'm mainly writing things inspired by other poems (plus lines of dialogue on TV and all sorts of other random nonsense). Today I'm sharing six bits of other poems with you. I'm keeping it to two lines from each poem, although of course, you might want to look into the poems a bit more. However, for this exercise and understanding of context is not really important, it's more about what it sparks.

Here are the six bits:

1) "And before the end comes, the complete / corrosion of all things beautiful..." from Ruin by Joel M Toledo - find the whole thing on And Other Poems here.

2) "that love, that life, that creation / is more than wanting." from Love by me, Cara L McKee. Find the whole thing here.

3) "They married. Julia, carried down the aisle / by two old lovers, found the last bottle of rum..." from On the Day of the Dead by Sergio Ortiz - find the whole thing on Algebra of Owls here.

4) "in winter, the swamp thickening / like the uterine wall..." from Taboo by Jen Hadfield, on the Scottish Poetry Library website here.

5) "Your voice marches on my head / Your death marches in my body" from A poem that is a cat by Sepideh Jodeyri, which is the last poem in the pdf here.

6) "How do you know I'm not / one of those women..." from The Fox Fairy by Pey Pey Oh (one of my favourite poems at the moment) - you'll find the whole thing on And Other Poems here.

Now there might be one of these that really speaks to you, in which case feel free to run with it. Or you could push yourself out of your comfort zone and roll a dice to choose one. That's what I'm doing (I use the dice roller at Random Org, but there are lots available).

Now take your prompt and write it down then spend five minutes seeing what it inspires - you could launch straight into a story or a poem or just find connected things. That's all you need to do just now. 

Hopefully that has inspired something which you can develop. If it's not speaking to you right now then keep your notes, put them in a place where you'll find them again one day, and move on. Maybe when you find them again it'll mean more.

I'd love to know what you come up with. Please comment and share.