Midweek Writing Prompt: The Power of Repetition Redux (9/24/14)

In my classrooms and workshops, I strive to create safe, welcoming writing communities where individuals feel free to explore ideas, stories, and concepts without judgment. After all, we need those spaces to get started. The judgment – of editors, professors, critical friends – will come later. But in the beginning, we need that soft, friendly embrace where anything is possible and everyone loves you. Let’s go there together.

When my schedule allows, I will post writing prompts for you to play with. I encourage you to write something and to share those initial efforts in the comment section, or even your response to the prompt – tell us what happened when you sat down to write. After all, some of these prompts will lead you down a path toward publication – I’ve seen that happen often enough to be confident in that statement.

Give it a try! 🙂


Writing Prompt: The Power of Repetition Redux

If you did the first list (part one) prompt, then you already know what to do. If you haven’t done the first one, that’s okay! Read on.

Write a true narrative in the form of a list beginning with a series of identical phrases. Each section should be connected to the others and each statement should be a sentence. It can be a super short sentence, or a long and involved one, or something in between. But write the sentences in this order with each sentence on its own line:

I don’t want (3 separate sentences)
I don’t remember (3 separate sentences)
I shouldn’t (be) (3 separate sentences) – the phrase can be I should or I should be, but whichever you choose, be consistent
I am not (3 separate sentences)
I will not (3 separate sentences)

As before, the goal of this prompt is to reinforce the power of collage and repetition. You could think of this as a narrative poem, or a list poem. Very often, poetry and creative nonfiction can go hand in hand. This prompt should help you to see and feel that. You could have a current writing project or story in mind so that you are re-creating it in this form, or you could just start afresh with wherever these phrases lead you. One of my Independent Study students loved this prompt – it led him to a powerful spoken word performance piece!



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