Spoken Word Task
Updated: Oct 9, 2020
1. Choose a source material to inspire your writing, e.g. a piece of visual art, a poem, or music, a photo image, a tick tock video, a memory. Something that means something to you. You might have just discovered it. Or it might feel like it’s always been with you. You may have a few different options. Choose one to work with today.
2. Spend some time with your source. Explore it’s potential. Look closely, listen deeply, read and re-read.
3. Set yourself up with your writing materials, be that screen or paper and a timer. Think about your source and for a full ten minutes without stopping, write down everything you see, hear, think about, everything you feel, everything you remember, everything you imagine in response to the source. Let your mind run free. I find it useful to have music playing for this kind of free writing, whether or not it’s the source. Resist the temptation to read what you’ve written in the 5 minutes – just keep writing! If you get stuck, keep repeating “I see”, “I hear”, “I feel”, “I remember”, “I imagine” until something comes to you.
4. After the 10 minutes is up, look back over what you’ve written, read it aloud to yourself and highlight any phrases or full lines that you want to keep. Write these lines and phrases out separately, taking out any of the introductory phrases like “I see”, “I feel”. From this group of phrases, things might start to emerge like rhythm (remember to keep reading out loud!), characters, images, rhyming phrases.
5. These lines are your starting point. From here you can use the words to start telling the story, you can focus on making rhythmic patterns with the words, or making words rhyme. However you move it forward, remember that taking words out is often a way to make it better! Keep speaking it aloud, think about the impact that you want your words to have on listeners – what do you want your work to do to people? And don’t forget you can always return to the start of the process to generate more material.