Fall Writing Exercise Series #27: Step Repetition

The Notebooking Daily Fall Writing Series is a daily writing exercises for both prose writers and poets to keep your creative mind stretched and ready to go—fresh for your other writing endeavors. The writing prompts take the impetus—that initial crystal of creation—out of your hands (for the most part) and changes your writing creation into creative problem solving. Instead of being preoccupied with the question "What do I write" you are instead pondering "How do I make this work?" And in the process you are producing new writing.

These exercises are not meant to be a standard writing session. They are meant to be productive and to keep your brain thinking about using language to solve simple or complex problems. The worst thing you can do is sit there inactive. It's like taking a 5 minute breather in the middle of a spin class—the point is to push, to produce something, however imperfect. If you don't overthink them, you will be able to complete all of the exercises in under 30 minutes.

Step Repetition

For today's writing exercise you will write a piece of poetry or prose which contains the following phrase at least four times (non-sequentially):

"One step after another."

    Think of various things that might be either walked away from or strode towards. Good and bad, and even strange. Maybe you use the millipede as a metaphor for the monotony of someone stuck in a rut, or you're describing various punctuated events in one's life like boot camp, vacations, certain intense short-term jobs or school projects. Maybe it's someone injured and trying to walk away from the flaming plane before it explodes leaving them in the vast Mojave desert. Or do something completely different. Just be sure that the repeated phrase earns its worth in your piece. It should be necessary.

    Bonus Exercise: Also include one descriptive sentence that contains exactly 17 syllables, and include the words "Whip" "Lubricate" "Momentum" and "Tweak".

    If you'd like some background music to write to, try the album "Cru" by Brazilian guitarist Seu Jorge (of Life Aquatic fame).