Fall Writing Exercise Series #49: Backstory 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.

Backstory 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):

"There's a reason ______ never learned to ______"

    Imagine either a real or fictional person who has not learned many common life lessons or how to do or use common things, and make your reasons be interesting/outlandish or very concise. Try to use this as both a lead into the reason, and as a summation, as in, tell the narrative that explains why the character never learned to do something, and finish it with the repetition. 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 two instances where rhyming words appear back to back, and include the words "Wrestle" "Flick" "Mosquito" and "Caterpillar".

    If you'd like some background music to write to, try the toe album the book about my idle plot on a vague anxiety.