Do the shuffle!
Why not try this narrative shuffle, in the same vein as that act of estrangement with your writing personas. Cut up the poem or short prose passage, spread it on the floor (if you have the room) and see if you can shuffle the order, move things around, and come up with a new and more vibrant arrangement. You may have to leave out a passage or two to help the new pattern. You may find gaps open up in the narration that need filling with a new bit of writing or not (if you do not, you are to mind that gap). You may recognise quantum leaps in your composition that can be instructive to you about how you create as a matter of habit. The habit can be broken or disrupted in order to improve on it or make it stronger.
If it helps to give yourself permission to work in such a new way or if you prefer to have a practice run with this exercise, use a published poem, a golden oldie that’s in the public domain. Make a copy of it in large type and cut up the lines, sentences, stanzas or paragraphs, then rearrange them. Try not to leave anything out. I did this with a group of students and they proceeded to reassemble Yeats’ Lake Isle of Innisfree by omitting a few key phrases! Another group simply put the poem back together by matching the scissor cuts line by line!Find out more
Do a THAT return
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Looking out to the world, and in to your truths
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Can you show, rather than tell?
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An Unwriting Exercise
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Taking a character for a walk
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Improve your writing through cutting back
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Write towards the discomfort
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Let the place do the talking
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