2020 Writing Exercise Series #6: Rhymebank Rounds-Complete a Piece 1

The Notebooking Daily 2020 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. 
This may be pushing 45 unless you're really writing fast.
Rhymebank Rounds-Complete a Piece 1
Rhymbank Rounds are a new type of exercise. Kind of like the Wordbank sprints, but there will be more focus on editing and re-writing, and you'll complete a piece, with the main focus of the exercises being on Like Sounds. If you're typing I suggest copy/pasting the lines you're editing to save time, save the originals in their own exercise space.

If you're pressed for time just do the first 5 exercises and then try to put at least 4 of your favorite sentences or fragments together into a piece, padding where needed. The disparate pieces may write an interesting narrative you wouldn't have written otherwise.

  1. Take three 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: Clip. If you have trouble getting more than ten or so remember to rhyme with fit, tick, and even if. You want to have close to thirty (30) words even if they're only kind of rhyming.
  2. Pick four of those words you wrote down and underline/bold them. Write three sentences for each of those words which include at least two other words from the rhymebank you generated from #1. Try to use even more words without making the sentence awkward or too weird—a little weird can be good though.
  3. Fragment time! Write at least ten (10) 4-word partial sentences that use at least two (2) words from your list. Don't worry about context or what might be being said, just make sure you can make some logic of the phrasing.
  4. Pick two (2) of those sentences/lines that do not use the 'chosen' word at the end. Completely rephrase that sentence so that the chosen word is either the last word or at very least the second to last word.
  5. Short fragment time! Write five (5) three-word partial sentences which use 2 words from your rhymebank back to back. No dawdling, but try to switch it up and use words you hadn't yet if you can.
  6. Go through and pick your two favorite full sentences, paste them with a couple line breaks between them. Each one will become its own paragraph or stanza in your following piece. Other than these paragraphs you're only allowed to add up to 100 more words, so while you'll be working on the paragraphs separately  keep in mind that they paragraphs need to be working toward each other. Arrange them in the order you want.
  7. For the first paragraph you must include at least 3 of your sentence fragments. Pick those and piece together your paragraphs narrative like a jigsaw puzzle. Try to use 2 of those fragments in the same sentence if possible. Feel free to rephrase as needed, these aren't super strict rules, you will recognize when something good needs a tiny bit of trimming. 
  8. For the second paragraph you must include at least 2 sentence fragments, or 1 sentence fragment and one of your previously written sentences with some tweaking. Give them all a read right now for good measure, but don't dawdle. Puzzle together your paragraph quickly.
  9. Now you have your 2 paragraphs. Cut at least ten words from them. Anything that doesn't work really well gets cut here. Even if it doesn't leave you with much. Once you've cut the weak stuff, add one sentence to either paragraph and up to four additional words. Why 4? Why any of these rules? If you need to add ten to smooth over something you cut out, do it. But if not, just do 4. 
  10. Write two different sentences that could start the story, one of them under six words, the other as long as you want. 
  11. Check if the short sentence would be a good title. If so, you're pretty much done. Add any padding you need. If not, pick whichever sentence works best to start it and add padding where needed.


If you'd like some background music, try Jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalais and company's recording Live in Marciac.