Mad Libs

October 19, 2012 § 1 Comment


No, this is not a post about how Democrats felt after the first debate.  It is a pointer to an intriguing new nonfiction writing prompt that our Brevity brother-in-arms Lee Martin posted on his blog last month.  Here’s a taste, and the full link right after:

I designed a new writing exercise for my MFA creative nonfiction workshop last week, and contrary to what a good teacher should have done (stating the objective of the exercise before leading the students through it) I purposely eliminated that step and jumped right in. I didn’t want the students to write toward an objective, thereby thinking too much about the purpose of their responses to my cues. Instead, I wanted them to be open to leaps  and associations and surprises and the texture such things can lend to a piece of creative nonfiction.

As promised, I’m now sharing this exercise with you:

1.  Make a list of three adjectives. Any three. Don’t think too hard. Just do it.

2.  Make a list of three objects that have recently become “unforgettable” to you in some way. Three objects from the current time or the recent past that you can’t get out of your head.

3.  Make a list of three abstractions, but try to avoid nouns that could also be transitive verbs. Nothing that could be turned into a statement such as “I love x,” or “I hate y.” Stick with things like”limbo” or “harmony.”

Find the rest of Lee Martin’s Prompt on His Blog

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