2020 Writing Exercise Series #35 Before Anaphora—Repetition Files 3

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.

Before Anaphora—Repetition Files 3

For today's writing exercise you will write a piece of poetry or prose which focuses on repetition. In this instance we will work with anaphora. It's a handy little bit of poetic craft that goes a little something like this:

the repetition of a word or words at the beginning of successive phrases, clauses, or lines to create a sonic effect.
Take a moment and read the Poetry Foundation article, even if you know the term. For even more fun check out this longer article called Adventures in Anaphora.

The word or phrase we'll use for our exercise today is:


    There are a number of ways you could approach this bit of anaphora. You could tell a story in reverse order, beginning with the final event and slowly building back to the event that kickstarted the narrative. You could make a list of historical events that happened after one pivotal moment in history that you'd like to highlight. It could be a more personal recounting of important events. Or do something completely different. Just be sure that the repeated phrase earns its worth in your piece. It should be necessary.

    Bonus Exercise: Include these five words into your piece "Delusion" "Neglect" "Regain" "Zen" and "Joint".


    If you'd like some background music to write to, try reggae artist Bamboo's eponymous album.