occasionally updated blog

  • NiProWriMo 2/30: Interruption (or Back in My Day We Had 1 VHS Tape Per Family)

    A friend posted recently about finding a tape that had two full length movies on it. BUT. But his Dad at some point had tried to tape over the first movie, but was stopped by his mom so now in the beginning of this beloved movie there’s a five minute interlude.

    I can’t shake this idea: interruption as defining moment.

    Option 1:

    Tell a story. Choose a big event, but be detailed. For example, if you decide to tell a falling in love story, focus on concrete sensory details like the food that spilled on the table during the first date or the specific song that played in the elevator the first time they accidentally touched.

    Then, tell the opposite. In this example, the breakup. Again the focus should be on details. What albums were put on the corner in a fit of spite for the neighborhood to take away?

    Once each of these is complete, splice them together. What do the juxtaposed details reveal that each individual story does not?

    Option 2:

    Find a poem that you‘ve been struggling with.

    Interrupt it. Perhaps you insert the lyrics of a song. Perhaps you break the fourth wall and directly address the reader. Perhaps you splice another, related poem into it. If the poem is narrative, how does the lyric moment change the rhythm? Conversely, if the poem is lyric, what do moments of narrative make possible or reveal?

    I post prompts every April for National Poetry Month and every Monday here