Saturday, April 23, 2016

Complete a Piece Saturday: Rhymebank exercise

For today's Rhymbank exercise you will follow a series of steps and then produce a piece using some of the generated lines or phrases. You will need either a blank document or a few blank notebook pages, and will refer back to things you write in the early exercises, but through the process you'll have a piece to fiddle with after half an hour to an hour.

1) Take just a couple minutes and jot down/type all rhymes and slant rhymes (include phrases for multi-syllabic words/feminine rhymes) you can think of just off the top of your head for the word: Tear.
2) Pick three of those words you wrote down. For each word and the original write three poetic lines or sentences (12 total).
3) Pick two of those sentences/lines that do not use the word at the end and rephrase it so that the "tear" rhyme is the last word in the line or sentence.
4) Look up more rhymes for Tear and pick a few that you hadn't thought of if you can. If there aren't any that are interesting, pick two more from your list.
5) Write three poetic lines or sentences using two of the additional words (6 total).
6) In the spirit of snippets, pick at least six of your sentences or lines and expand them by two-fold (a total of 3 sentences/lines for each of six sentences—so it's only a minimum of 18 total sentences, not bad). Try to make each little three sentence/line snippet a full thought, if not a complete story. There's the traditional 'story' which has a beginning middle and end, there's the idea of hint fiction which is "a story of 25 words or fewer that suggests a larger, more complex story", there's vignette, and there are probably a bunch more, but those three concepts are plenty for this exercise. Take a minute before writing the expansion and be sure you have a direction or thought to work with.
7) Write a poem or flash fiction that includes at least two of the snippets from #6. Three or more would be ideal. Of course tweaking is both allowed and encouraged to make the lines and facts work, but don't be afraid of unexpected jumps or unintuitive leaps in topic or tone. Sometimes that jarring change produces a really great effect in the reader.

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