Creative Writing

Featured Exercise

Cut-Up Spellcheck

Think of an idea for a story or poem you'd like to write. Pull up your Word Processor and write it out directly into your computer. Type it fast and furiously, not worrying at all about typos or misspelling. In fact, don't back up or correct anything while you're writing this. Just get the story out of you and into the computer as fast as possible.

Now, start your Spellchecker. This is where things get absurd, and interesting. In order to change the meaning of your story, to see other possibilities in what you wrote, or to give you ideas for other stories, pick the wrong word anytime the spellchecker prompts you. That is, anytime the Spellcheck catches a word, whether it's misspelled or not, pick one of the other "possible" words it presents to you. This means if you meant to type "obsessed", and accidentally typed "obsesed", it may offer "Abscessed, obese, and absolute".

Pick a word you didn't mean to put there. I would pick "Abscessed" in this example.

When you're finished spellchecking, read over the story and see what new things are revealed about your story, about your characters, or even about yourself. See if the new meanings that come out of this story can be used to write a different piece.

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