Fall Writing Exercise Series #98: The Smell of 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.

The Smell of 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):

"Followed by the scent of _______."

    There are many aromas out there which conjure all sorts of memories or images. Maybe you're writing a narrative of walking through a market and smelling various things, each sparking a different memory. Maybe you're making a large meal and various stages have different smells that take over as most pungent. Or maybe it's not food at all. Maybe you're walking through a locker room or a garage or woodshop. Maybe it's a forest and you cross paths with a skunk. Maybe you're writing about the great molasses flood of 1919. 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 the description of something squeaking, and include the words "Pulse" "Squeegee" "Flip" and "Tuck".

    If you'd like some background music to write to, try rock band Plastic Penny's 1969 album "Currency".