Thursday, March 23, 2017

Unfurl Ideas. Try a Write-along

                  Good artists copy, great artists steal.
         - attributed to both Picasso and Steve Jobs 

Writers need to study the work of writers who came before and those currently publishing. Immersion with improvisation occurs when we copy out the rhythms of a favorite writer. 

Rather than "stealing" - which could cause trouble - move into the moods and words of great writers with a writing practice.

Take a few lines from F. Scott Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Faulkner, Joyce, Joseph Conrad and Kerouac in order to try out their writing styles and various rhythms. 

Mix in Salinger, Stegner, Carver, Twain, Nabokov, Vonnegut, Amy Tan. Add work by Cisternos, Marquez and Kingsolver. 

Choose your favorites to have as write-alongs.

Also select a variety of poets and see how the lines feel under your fingers. After you have spent the time copying, do a freewrite. 

Do you notice a difference sentence variety and structure? Do words flow and change? Do you feel the presence of another voice? 

Writing is serious work in a playful realm. Nurture your possibilities by copying the best.

Use the writing of others to encourage your process and try this exercise.

Select a book of poetry, then take a sheet of paper and draw a line to make two columns. 

On the left write out words or one line phrases that attract you. On the right side respond to these glimpses. 

Go beyond them. Capture the sensory experiences
of the text in sound, taste, texture and scent.

What would you write instead? Where can you take these notions?

Peruse a novel, non-fiction selection, newspaper or magazine article and an essay. Use the two column approach to unfurl ideas.

Have fun and gain ideas to combine or enhance for your own writing.

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