Writing Eggzercise

We did an sweet writing exercise in one of my classes and I thought I’d share.

First, the professor brought in stacks of poetry books and had us pick two at random. Then, we picked up twenty scraps of paper and flipped through the poetry books, writing down words or phrases that caught our eye. When everyone in the class finished filling all their scraps, we mixed them up and everyone drew twenty new slips.

Of these, we picked three slips that struck our fancy (I, being an unbearably special snowflake, picked four) and then wrote a few sentences prompted by the three (or so) choices.

My prompts were:

I hear they banned dwarf tossing in France.

This lovely woman, walking by, starts talking about my cactus. She knows more about it than I do.

Women who murdered their husbands with hairpins study Plato daily.


The thing about hell is. . .

Combined, I had a story about a cactus-loving, former dwarf-tossing champion contemplating the spiritual ramifications of murdering her husband with a hairpin.

You can also do this exercise individually by going through books or magazines on your own and writing down interesting words or phrases to use as prompts at any time. (And if you’re worried that the prompts will seem too familiar, simply put them away and come back to them at a later date!) It’s also a great way to generate short snappy ideas that can either be woven into existing works or slowly grown into something bigger.

Now off to finish my dwarf-tossing spiritual murder mystery. I think I’ll call it EAT (cacti), PRAY (the dwarf lawsuit doesn’t go through) STAB (a lot).


Posted on April 30, 2014, in Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Writing Eggzercise.

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