2020 Writing Exercise Series #132 Unlike Elvis Anaphora—Repetition Files 9

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.

Unlike Elvis Anaphora—Repetition Files 9

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 above-linked 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:

"Unlike Elvis"

    There are a number of ways you could approach this quirky bit of anaphora. The first step is probably to brush up on things Elvis DID do, or IS known for and to jot down five or so things in preparation. Then once you have those interesting tidbits, either create a character, talk about yourself, or someone else that you know well and contrast dull facts that are similar to the Elvis facts. For instance, if you're writing about how Elvis used shoe polish to dye his naturally light brown hair black, that could be contrasted with a story about using bright blue Manic Panic hair dye during your Sophomore year in the basement bathroom so your mom wouldn't find out. 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 "Pong" "Topographical" "Reject" "Satin" and "Stymied".

    If you'd like some background music to write to, try this album of piano versions of Elvis songs (none of which Elvis wrote.