Producing New Material

16 Sep

Remember in grade school, when you had to write your name down the left side of the page, and then make a poem by producing a word or line that starts with each letter? Or you started with “W-I-N-T-E-R” because you had to choose a season, or “P-U-R-P-L-E” because you had to choose a color. When I wrote my shorty yesterday, my prompt was a photo of a hurricane (see the post just below). I was stumped. I came up with multiple first sentences that went nowhere. After 40 minutes of NOTHING, in desperation I wrote “H-U-R-R-I-C-A-N-E” down the left side of my notebook page. Then I wrote a sentence that started with each letter. I edited them to be more interesting, then went back to the top and extended each sentence into a paragraph that made sense as a lead-in to the next starting sentence. After that, I discovered that I really liked my “E” sentence and the couple of sentences I’d written after it. So I crossed out all the preceding work and started over with those last sentences, which quickly led to a complete story that I actually liked. So, thank you Mrs. Moral, my first-grade teacher, for making me write a poem out of “C-L-A-I-R-E,” one that I have blissfully forgotten.

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