Sunday, September 27, 2015

Rewriting prompt: One-syllable edits

Start with a copy of a bit of fiction that you've already written — 200–300 words ought to do it. Rewrite the section using only one-syllable words. Proper nouns are exempt from this shortening, of course; if your story is about Julie from Schenectady, it can still be about her.

Ulterior motive

Writing everything using single-syllable words won't make your writing sing. But because it forces you to scrutinize each word as you place it, it can help you uncover some ways to improve your writing.

Compare your two versions of the scene. Find the best parts of the original and the best parts of the monosyllabic version. Combining the two can certainly help that one scene, but what's more important is exploring how some of your simplifications improved the flow of the text and then trying to apply what you've learned to everything you write.

This REwriting prompt can be a fun writing prompt, too. Starting from scratch, write a scene or bit of flash fiction in this monosyllabic style and see what you come up with.