Experiments in Writing

I was inspired last night to play around with constrained writing. This all came about because of a strangely interesting book called Sex, Drugs, Einstein, & Elves by Clifford Pickover. It was randomly handed to me by a friend while we were hanging out in the Metaphysical section of the Borders in Hunt Valley. He just liked the trippy cover. I just liked the weird title. Looking back, its one of those moments when I’m almost inclined to believe in Destiny. But I digress.

The first experiment in constrained writing was to use 10 randomly selected words from the aforementioned book. I simply opened to a random page, closed my eyes, and pointed. Then I wrote a little paragraph in my notebook, trying to make as much sense as possible.

Here are the words, in the order I found them:

traveling, consciousness, nebulous, encourage, word, happily, see, societies, nuclear, character

And here is what I wrote at 11:30 last night:

One would do well to encourage the youth to expand their consciousness. Societies, all too often, see fit to push developing minds toward something all together rigid. The character of free thinkers is, in a word, dangerous. Enlightened youth might happily go about traveling the world instead of mindlessly producing and consuming the meaningless goods which serve as the foundation of Capitalism. The might just stop to ponder some nebulous idea borne of boredom and a daydream. Perhaps such open minded children would reject the notion of the nuclear family, bringing to an end the perpetuation of mediocrity known as conservatism.

Next I wished to write a short paragraph where every word contained the letter ”A”:

Alone as usual, Lisa leaned against an ancient oak contemplating supernatural manifestations. Magic had always fascinated Lisa. Although fairly talented among attendees at Harvard Metaphysical Academy, Lisa remained alienated. Lisa’s failure wasn’t about talent. Gary was arrogant. Accidents happened and reputations tarnished.

Not being able to use ”the” is a bit hard.

I have some other ideas for writing projects the I will likely pursue. Feel free to leave your own suggestions in the comments!

May 13, 2007 • Posted in: Writing

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