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Archive October 2011

Posted by Writing Prompter on 10.31.11

Happy Halloween! In honor of this ghoulish holiday, the Poetry Foundation has put together a sampler of Halloween poems. Read and listen to them, then write one of your own.

Posted by Writing Prompter on 10.26.11

My guiding philosophy of writing, maybe even of life, is that the path to the truth runs through shame. So dig through your memory banks and write about the most shameful episode you can remember. The challenge here is to provide the reader the basic dramatic context, then to slow down and move moment-to-moment during the worst of it. This need not be for general consumption. It's more an exercise in radical disclosure.

Posted by Writing Prompter on 10.24.11

Choose a draft of a poem that you've been working on or a poem that you aren't satisfied with. Print it out double-spaced. Write a new line between each line, then revise the poem as a whole, working to first expand it, then distill it to its most powerful form.

Posted by Writing Prompter on 10.20.11

Pick a short story by another writer and use its ending as the beginning for a new story of your own.

Posted by Writing Prompter on 10.17.11

Compose a poem of five stanzas with four lines each. Use five of the following words: promenade, mettle, flap, azimuth, arbor, heap, mast, foxgrape. Write the final line of the poem using words whose vowel sounds contain a, e, i, o, u, in that order (for example, "The stay between window and room"). 

Posted by Writing Prompter on 10.13.11

Imagine a character whose job—such as a banker, thrift store cashier, babysitter, college president—typically implies certain traits about this person and a certain lifestyle. Write a story in which this character's life outside of his or her work is drastically different from what is typical. Explore in your writing why this is so, using it to inform the plot and to create tension in the story.

Posted by Writing Prompter on 10.11.11

Transform a poem that you've written or write a new poem without using the first person.

Posted by Writing Prompter on 10.06.11

Write a scene for a story with two characters involved in the Occupy Wall Street movement. Use news stories about the movement in order to gather details to create a realistic setting.

Posted by Writing Prompter on 10.03.11

Find a poem that is different in style and approach than the kind of poem you usually write. Read it repeatedly until it opens for you, scan it to better understand its musical qualities, and finally memorize it. Write your own poem inspired by the poem you've studied. 

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