This post will help you respond to the following Spellbinder Instagram post.
“Challenge yourself with a constrained writing exercise this spring. Here are some examples: write a haiku about new beginnings and or/rebirth; write a 500-characters memoir about springtimes past; write a fiction piece without ever using the letter ‘S’.”
Here in the UK, we are moving into spring. The trees are all starting to green, there is blossom everywhere, and the days are getting longer and warmer. There is so much going on, but the challenge in this prompt is to try and condense all of that into something short and punchy. Alternatively, there is the potential challenge of just capturing a snapshot of spring, rather than attempting to condense it down.
All these tasks require you to consider what elements comprise spring. To help you, take a blank piece of paper and make two columns. In one column, write down different elements which, to you, epitomise spring. On the other side, write down the emotion or feeling that these different springtime elements elicit in you. Then choose just one of these elements, and the related emotion, and aim to make this the focus of your constrained writing exercise.
For the haiku, consider the different forms that new beginnings and/or rebirth can take – could your piece be about a literal rebirth, an emotional one, a metaphorical one? There are lots of different routes you could go down with this exercise.
For the memoir, try writing down on a blank sheet everything you can remember about past springtimes. Then pick just one thing from what you have written down and make this the focus of your piece – reduce it down to its simplest elements. The key to this exercise is being very tightly focused on one thing.
With the fiction piece, begin by simply writing a couple of paragraphs based around the topic of springtime. At this stage you can still use words that contain the letter ‘s’. When you have finished your paragraphs, highlight all the words that contain an ‘s’. Find different words or phrases that could replace them. Then continue your piece in the same way. Hopefully as you go, you should get into the habit of excluding words that include an ‘s’ and find some interesting new words and phrases along the way.
Hopefully these suggestions are of some help with these exercises – let us know how you get on, and good luck!
Ned Vessey, Blog Co-Ordinator
Read this post on the Spellbinder Medium page here.