A Word-Stealing Writing Prompt

Have you ever seen the Victor Borge bit where he cuts up pieces of famous uncopyrighted music and tapes them together to make a new piece? This writing prompt is a bit like that. Since I would never suggest that you cut up a book, however (sacrilege!), simply copy, print out, or write the lines to be used by hand.

Here’s the basic idea:

  1. Pick the uncopyrighted books you want to use.
  2. Write down, copy, or print a line from each.
  3. Fold the papers and mix them up in a hat.
  4. Draw them from the hat 1 at a time, and lay them out in that order on your paper.
  5. Shift them up and down as desired.
  6. Fill in the space between them with a story of your own that works with the existing lines and makes something new.

The lines can be famous or simply any line that tickles your fancy, and you can pick lines from different authors. Some of them have such a distinctive writing style or voice that merging them into a cohesive tale will be quite a challenge.

Sounds like fun to me!


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