Writing exercise

Writing for liberation exercise: go further than you can go

Have you ever noticed that when you write that first get-it-off-your-chest draft of a poem or story, it’s often the last bit that has the gems in it? When we first start writing, we’re often not sure where we want to take something, or what it is exactly that we’re trying to say, but the writing process itself helps us get there.

So let’s do this exercise, which is focused on story and plot rather than on writing style. Write about a real or fictional thing that happened, then follow that with “and then” and come up with something that happened next. Write “and then” after that, and keep on going. Start out on a story that you’d like to tell, or make use of some of the prompts below. You’ll get to a point with your  and then-ing where you feel like you just can’t go any further. Go further anyway, no matter how ridiculous, for at least five and thens.

Prompts

  • He found a shoe in the middle of the sugar can fields. And then …
  • Parrots fell out of the sky. And then …
  • He left the broken electric oven in the street. And then …
  • She turned blue and her eyes bulged. And then …
  • Overnight, all the sand from the beach had washed away. And then …