Looking for an easy way to throw yourself into new thought patterns and create a draft that surprises you? Try this Up and Down technique and see what happens. Choose any phrase or sentence that happens to be in your head – the title of a song, a television show, or even a common saying and write it vertically down the page. Then turn the process around and write the same phrase from the bottom up. ( I chose Merry Christmas as an example.)
You should have something that looks like this:
Then use these pairs of letters in one of several ways:
- Write two-word lines using the pairs as starting letters for each word.
- Write lines of any length, using the two words as the first two of each line.
Maybe silence is the last thing that
enters, arrives late, apologetic,
reciting memories as mantras…
- Start the line with a word using the first letter and end the line with a word using the second letter.
Maybe we all sit and wait for silence,
enter a state of suspension, arrive
reciting a mantra of memory…
As you can see, each approach gave the same idea a slightly different twist. Once you have a draft completed, go ahead and break the pattern for revision. Draft isn’t cohesive and not salvageable as is? Pull some of your best language and free write from there. The possibilities are endless!