A Writer’s Mind

Writers are weird people. I can say this because I’m one. I also must add, I like weird. Each of us has a unique creative process. One of my favorite writing processes is to use found words. I’m going to walk you through how it works for me.

Start with a random book from your shelf (or a favorite). Open it to a random page. Scan, do not read, for words that catch your eye. Write down three nouns, three verbs, and three adjectives. Make a bunch of sentences with them.

Here are my words from On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin:


Here are my very weird sentences:

The divergent form represented a new rule.
The condensed generation occupied a medium level
The rule condensed the generation.
Though modified, the diagram was a diffused rule.
The diffused form occupied a generation.
The divergent diagram was alone, but happy.

Ugh, Right? Now fit some (or all) of them into a paragraph:

The rule condensed the generation, but the diagram was divergent. Meanwhile, the diffused form occupied a place of repose.

What the —-? Think about the sentences as metaphors. What could they mean? I’ve been upset with the legal activities surrounding a woman’s control of her body. This weird paragraph starts to have meaning when I see it as metaphors that apply to this topic:

Better: The law collapsed a generation, removing all gains. The future vision, however, was divergent in its hope. Meanwhile, ghosts of generations past sat in repose, creating thought spaces. Out of this grew a divergent vision of hope.

Much of this paragraph is redundant and is missing some of the emotions I feel. Time to be specific and to pare the redundant:

Their law collapsed this generation, distilling despair. Ghosts sat in repose, creating thoughtful spaces. From this grew a divergent vision of hope.

I like this. Is it a story? Maybe. It has a beginning, a middle, and an end. However, I’m more likely to use it in a story or as a prompt to generate a story.

Your turn. You can even use my words. What weird and wonderful tale will you come up with?

2 thoughts on “A Writer’s Mind

  1. Interesting. All of your nouns could be verbs. (The generation of data… Is that an adverb?) All of your verbs are past tense. Yet you still use them as you saw them, initially.


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