So: one of my favorite words, as it says under the title of my blog, is “Lunch.” I wrote a little exercise for myself. Here are the rules I used (mix and match as works for you–this will work for fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, play writing, or just a warmup):
- Choose a word. Find an image you like that relates to that word.
- Write a piece in response to that image. Focus on the musicality of the piece–all of my definitions are just sorta, to jog your memory; look them up if you don’t really know/it’s been a long time. There’s no shame in not knowing something you have had no reason to learn: assonance (repeated vowel sounds in stressed syllables: knows-owes-goes), consonance (repeating the initial consonant sound with words but changing the vowel sounds: wonder-wander-wader), rhyme, half-rhyme (also called eye rhymes or inexact rhymes: said-maid, love-prove) and alliteration (beginning words with the same consonant or vowel sound, also called a head-rhyme: land-lamp-laugh).
- Aim to have at least one piece of “music” in every line.
- Try to make every word you can interact with another. Just try. It’ll give you a chance to edit! Editing: making good writers better since forever. Ask yourself: what other word could I put here? Why did I choose this one? Why am I in love with this? What else works? Sacrifice musicality? Or meaning? Story? Time? Logic? Or ease in writing? What is my aesthetic? How do rules/structure make me realize what my tics are?
- Take no more than forty minutes.
If anyone uses any of these exercises, I’d love to see what you do. If you post them, lemme know. You can also always email them to me if you haven’t gotten to the point where you’re ready to share your work with anyone. I will look at them and I am always kind. If that link it’s working, it’s the blog name at the Google Mail.
Have a great lunch today!
Lunch–my, I love lunch. Lisa looks lovely like that. See the scar with the scarf on–no. Quick with the picture. For the look book. And her sister and the children. In a photo, you have control. No fights or sighs; all smiles. We wandered until we blundered on this marina and it was a wonderful–we are so alone.
Luanne, she makes the best sandwiches. Spreads to the edges. Every bite has a niceness to it. You are fed more than bread. She says there’s an art to it, and heart to it. Good food, but just food.
Kids didn’t bicker. A great day. Water wasn’t, you know, you couldn’t get in it. Green, bile-like film and vile, sticky sheen. Smelled of well, shit–no, that wasn’t it. Bleach, I think, something you keep under the sink. I don’t know; Lisa keeps the house.
A bloated dead mouse found on the ground. The kids put a cross over it after covering it with gathered moss.
We sang The Star Spangled Banner for it with our hands on our chests and left.