Archive for the ‘Exercises’ Category:

Robo Rob

Written on February 9th, 2018 by adminno shouts

Robo Rob part of the programming board game designed for Cuddly Science

This is Robo Rob who is part of a board game to help teach children about the basic concepts of programming but Rob also does jobs and could be called Bob… so what do you think this little robot might be getting up to? Make a list and create a list of rhymes to go with it. Once you have your lists start constructing a rhyming adventure for our robot friend here!

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Book Roulette

Written on February 8th, 2018 by adminno shouts

This exercise works best with a group of people, each of you brings a book, using a dice you select pages and then lines to read out, take it in turns to read a line each but make it seem as if the the line from one book follows on from the other. Record the session and then go over it to find interesting juxtapositions of words and phrases, these can be used as a starting point for a poem.

Warning the exercise causes excessive laughter!

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Written on February 6th, 2018 by adminno shouts

Look at your hands, or pictures of hands….. what do you see? How are they constructed? What colour are they, are they rough hands or cubby young hands? Are the nails dirty? Bitten? Painted fabulous colours? Are the hands covered in sleeves or henna, jewellery?

What have the hands done? Who and what have they touched, made created, destroyed? Are they loving hands? Neglected?

Think on all these things and what the hands could be – do the hands belong to you? What if they didn’t? What if they had a life of their own or where replacements, how would they behave?

Do they work properly and if so what are they used for?

Spend 20 mins writing on the theme of hands, do not worry if you abandon several ideas, just keep writing whilst the timer is ticking – you may find some poetic forms appear in the writing, take these and edit them into full pieces.

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Written on February 5th, 2018 by adminno shouts

A fun exercise that can really help if you are stuck just staring at a blank screen or piece of paper, is to collaborate!

Find another poet or would be poet and either sit in the same room as them or set up emails or online chat to work with them, then start brain storming ideas and writing pieces for the other to look at. You can sit and write it completely together or you write a bit and send it to them and they write a bit and send it back. This is a fabulous way to work especially for longer works such as epic poems.

Collabs are great though you may need to have patients with your collaborator and remember that they are being equally patient with you!

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Found Things

Written on February 3rd, 2018 by adminno shouts

remains of a glass bottle, jar, inkwell found at St Mary's DeCrypt

This image is from an archaeology dig at St Mary’s DeCrypt, a church that included an old school wrong – but what do you see? What do you think the history of these objects are? True histories? Magic? Remembering…. look at the photo and then set a timer for five minutes and write about the image and the objects for five minutes, do not over think it just keep writing for that time even if you start multiple ideas. Then spend 20 minutes analysing what you have written, extract any phrases or sentences that you like and construct a poem around them.

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Dream Diaries

Written on February 2nd, 2018 by adminno shouts

Dream diaries are a good way to generate ideas, phrases and moods.

When you awake in the morning jot down your dreams, even if you can’t remember them specifically you often have a residual feeling – describe it.

During the day re-read the entries a couple of time and in the evening spend 5-10 minutes constructing a poem around any prominent phrases or imagery in the notes. You may even find that the writing was already trying to be a poe.

You don’t have to physically write your entries either as some of us struggle with our hands first thing in the morning, most phones have a voice record mode and some do straight to text so you can say what you remember before it evaporates in cups of coffee and the morning routine of rushing around to get out of the house!

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Rock Pools

Written on February 6th, 2017 by adminno shouts

Rock pool

Rock pools are little worlds onto themselves, little creatures interacting with hierarchy. Do they realise that there is a world out there that is bigger? A whole ocean for little creatures to be swept away and lost in?

Think on the image, its colours and life and then write for 15 minutes.

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Idea Spiral

Written on February 5th, 2017 by adminno shouts

Idea have a habit of breeding more ideas, this can be brilliant and make you really productive or it can de-rail the writing process and you simple have too many ideas and fail to take any to completion.

A way around this is write an idea spiral – draw a light spiral in pencil on a piece of paper and then starting in the middle start writing down your ideas. If there is just one then it can sit there and await for more ideas to turn up but if there are lots then keep writing them down.

Once the spiral is full surround it by four other pieces of paper and analyse the ideas. Are they all different ideas, or connected? Sometimes things seem like lots of ideas but are pretty much just the core different stanzas for the same poem. Group the ideas on one of the four sheets, list them in priority order that you would like to write them in on the other. If they are a large sequence or set then set out all the interconnections and relationships on the third piece of paper. The last piece is for anything else that might occur to you.

If you have no other ideas or current projects then now would be the time to add another four pieces of paper to the corners to make a large square. Pick one of the ideas, preferably the one you listed as top priority, and create word web, what associations does the theme or concept have?

On the second piece, write down bullet points of related concepts.

If you wish it to be a structured poem then on the third piece of paper create a structured outline to shape the finished poem to.

The fourth piece is for you to actually write the poem.

Once that poem is written you can remove the four corner pieces of paper and put fresh ones in place and do the same for the second idea.

If you have lots and lots of ideas it might be a good idea to just create the initial spirals to get the ideas off your chest or out of your brain. Then place these spirals in a folder for looking at later on after you’ve completed what ever the current writing goal is!

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Written on February 3rd, 2017 by adminno shouts

Who is your favourite hero or anti-hero? What is it that intrigues you about them? Are they squeaky clean and perfect or do they have a dark past to hide or over come?

Is the concept of hero out dated?

Spend 5 minutes listing all the characteristics you think a hero should have, then compare it to your favourite (or least favourite!) hero.

Is it a perfect fit? Possibly not, if not why not? Is it those imperfections which drew you to them?

Go away form the lists for 15 minutes or so, then come back and write for 20 minutes. If something doesn’t instantly occur to you start by describing your hero and how the list applied to them.

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Reverse It

Written on February 2nd, 2017 by adminno shouts

Look at processes like growing old or the progression of seasons and how the plants behave, think about all the little interconnections and how they rely on each other and the order they happen in.

What happens if you reverse these processes or the you take the opposites?

Spend ten minutes writing down the process or event you have chosen then spend fifteen minutes writing it up in reverse. This can throw up some unexpected ideas which can be used to spark a poem or even come out as a fully formed first draft.

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