2020 Writing Exercise Series #69 One Word Exercise 2

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.

One Word Exercise 2

For today's writing exercise you will write a piece of poetry or prose which focuses on one word. If the word itself doesn't spark a piece, do the generative sequence of exercises below.

    1: v. To faint or lose consciousness.
    2: v. To enter a state of hysterical rapture or ecstasy.
    3: n. A fainting fit or spell (to be 'in' a swoon).

    1. Think of things that people just go bonkers over. The Beatles, Citizen Kane, Trebuchets, Bieber, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Hank Azaria, you know, really really awesome stuff. Write down as many of those obsessable things as you can for three minutes. Get at least six things, but you should be able to get much more than that in three minutes. Don't overthink it, don't worry about putting silly things down, in fact, put a couple things down that are very niche. Some people get super into dodgeball, stamp collecting, pinewood derby etc.
    2. Pick two of those things from your list that you don't know much about. Spend five minutes researching them, taking notes of interesting things, funny or memorable words or terms.
    3. Pick your favorite three terms, interesting things or details from your research and come up with an exaggerated reason why someone might find that detail very interesting. Write at least two different sentences for each of your three details that include someone very excited about the detail. Don't worry about the phrasing being tremendous, just knock those sentences out fast.
    4. Rhyme break! Take a moment and write down a list of your favorite ten words from this list of rhyming words for Swoon.
    5. Look back at your sentences from #3 and pick your favorite two. Work in one word from the rhyme list you made in #4 to each sentence, and try to cut out at least 2 words from each sentence. Don't overthink it. Reword slightly, avoid words that don't convey much information.
    6. Make a list of ten everyday activities. Think brush teeth, putting on socks, reading a book etc.
    7. Add another five things to that list of everyday activities. 
    8. Go back to the sentences you wrote for #3 that you didn't edit in exercise #5 and pick one additional sentence. Totally rewrite it twice. First strip it to the bare bones, trying to limit it to as few words as possible without losing sense or sounding like a robot. Then rewrite it so that it includes one item from your #7 list and one rhyming word from #4.
    9. Now, returning to your #6 and 7 list of everyday activities. Spend five minutes thinking of 'quirky' or 'cute' or even things slightly inefficient or wrong that someone could do while performing those activities. Make a list of at least 5 quirk/cute/wrong things that pair with items of everyday activities from your #6 and 7 lists. 
    10. Now it's time to choose your pathway. Fiction or Poetry.
    • Fiction: Write a flash fiction in which your narrator is leaving a series of voicemails for an ex-lover in which they apologize for not paying enough attention to them, using the 'swoonable' things as examples of times they'd been distracted and not paying enough attention to their ex. After the series of voicemails are sent the narrator should leave their residence in the early morning and walk to a store even though they don't have to buy anything, thinking about the everyday quirky activities which you listed in #9
    • Poetry: You'll be writing a love poem about how the narrator adores little things that their lover does during everyday activities in a similar way to how others obsess/love things from your #3/5. Format your poem in the following manner. "Like a (sentence from 5)," then the narrator describes very much adoring quirk/activity pairings from #9. Like (sentence from 9). Then back to your #9 list where you choose 3 remaining sentences. This will be the ending of your poem, a list of three things, essentially. Keep the first sentence its own sentence, but combine the other two, removing any extra words to make the ending nice and concise. 

    If you'd like some background music to write to, try producer Robohands's album Green.