Writing should be fun. It should be a source of creative enjoyment. But sometimes you can hit a rut. Writer’s block. Stagnation. So it’s important to have a few tools at your disposal to help you break through the wall and knock your writing back into shape.
These quick writing exercises will do just that.
Shape your writing!
Writers have always imposed constraints on their work to inspire creativity. And the use of syllables to impose a structure or limitation on your writing is a firm favourite.
There are many established forms based around syllable length: Iambic Pentameter, Haiku, Tanka.
These are some of the more easily identifiable verse forms. There are, of course many more. It just goes to show the importance of imposing restrictions on your work in order to develop creative responses.
So, borrowing from traditions of syllabic structures in writing, I’d like to propose the following three techniques to help you whip your words into shape, and have fun doing it:
1) It’s hip to be square
Turn your words into a square.
Set a syllable length per
line and stick to it as best you
can. Going down you should then
use the same number of lines
as you have used syllables.
In this case it is seven.
Ok, so this example might not look like a square, but that’s not the point.
It IS a square.
A 7-syllable by 7-line square.
Restrict yourself to a set number of syllables per line. Whatever the number you determine is, make that the number of lines of writing you will allow yourself in order to create your text.
2) Now try angles
There’s a pattern emerging here (excuse the puns).
to show you
this writing technique
works, demonstrating how
you can use syllables to
shape a text. Continually
add one more syllable to each new
line of text so it forms a triangle.
Narrow at the top and ever widening
as you progress towards the bottom of the text.
Again, this is not an exact visual science. But we’re not looking for exact visuals.
This is just another way you can inject some fun and creativity into your writing by using syllable structures.
The objective is to work within the constraints of the form and challenge yourself to think of creative ways to harness the restrictions of the form.
3) Diamonds are forever
form, this writing
technique relies on
adding syllables per
line of text up to a point,
before beginning to
all the way back
down to a
It’s silly. I know. But it’s a different way of thinking. A different way of writing. And, more importantly, it’s a way of refocusing your mind.
The shape of things to come
If you are stuck for ideas. When you hit a wall and find yourself struggling to get words down on the page. Break away and play with words for a bit.
Get your writing back into shape.