Writing for liberation exercise: Make it ugly

Clotty seas, fungal walls, insipid kindness, reckless jokes, a grotty smile – it can be fun to play with contrasts, the unexpected, and in this case – make nice things ugly.

It’s easy to find all the right adjectives and stack them up in front of the horrid stuff of life. And it’s easy to write a tonne of fluffy romantic poetry about sunsets and flowers and beach walks. But that stuff is so obvious and so overused that its a bit sickening. Real life is much more interesting and much more complicated. Play with that.

Make a list of nice things. Five or 10 or 20. The sorts of things that tend to be quite cliched and can become annoying, or worthless. Then get some revenge on cliches and toxic simplicity, and pair those things with unpredictable horribleness.

After that, you can pick some of your favourites and write a quick story or poem, or you can leave it.

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