S+7 Writing Exercise

Once again, I’ve procrastinated writing anything for the blog today, but to be fair, it is a super-long vacation weekend, and I know things will get back on a more regular schedule come Monday.

However, I am still committed to one post a day, so here I am.  I’ve been flipping through the many books on writing I own, and I found an interesting little exercise that may become a regular feature — or might not work at all, but I’m going lay it out now, and do the actual writing tomorrow.

In The Creative Writer’s Workbook: A Sourcebook for Releasing Your Creativity and Finding Your True Writer’s Voice, 4th Edition, by Cathy Birch, she talks about an exercise to get “new text from old,” called S+7.

The S+7 Exercise:

Take a line from any text, and begin to copy it.  Every time you come to a noun, you look up that noun in a dictionary, then count seven words forward in the list, and replace it.

See what you come up with, and write from there.

Birch recommends using something like a foreign language to English translation dictionary, so the words aren’t necessarily in alphabetical order.  I’ll have to track one down, and then find a good, noun-filled sentence to try this with, for tomorrow’s post, so stay tuned!


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