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Exquisite Corpse :)

FRIENDLY DISCLAIMER
 
I assure you, this post is rated G. Tell the children they can come back now.
 
Exquisite Corpse is a writing exercise that was first introduced to me in 10th grade AP English.
 
My teacher at the time (who is, by far, my favorite ever) was trying to rid us of the awful writing techniques ingrained in us from the TAKS test. There is a good chance you or your child has gotten a nice Texas-sized dose of these in school.
 
We were so regemented that, even though we were all gifted in Reading and Language Arts, lots of us had gotten 2s and 3s on the writing portion of the test. We lost the fun. We lost the creativity.
 
How did we get it back?
 
Exquisite Corpse.
 
What in the world  is Exquisite Corpse?
 
It's the Galaxy X totin', New age cousin of the old parlor game "Cadavre Exquis" in which multiple people would contribute to a sentence. The first would write an adjective, the next, a verb, then the third would write a noun. This would continue until the sentence was over or they would create a whole story.
 
The original sentence that started this pretty awesome name is "Le cadavre / exquis / boira / le vin / nouveau." Translation? The exquisite corpse will drink the young wine.
 
And, yes, the last two words are a tad out of order but, again, this was a parlor game. Enough said.
 
How is it used today?
 
Many people use it in it's original format.
 
Some write a story's ending and ask someone else to write the beginning.
 
However, I subscribe to Coach Moran's 10th grade English version. One person writes a sentence, and the next writes a sentence after that. This continues until there is a complete story.
 
Do you have to do this with words only?
 
 
Nope. In fact, I encourage students to do what ever feels the most organic; whatever feels the most real or inspired at the time. Just the act of being creative is what helps the writing process.
 
This exercise is not about similes, hyperboles or shmog shmerbullies. It's about letting go of your inhibitions and having fun. Be silly. Don't write about going to the store to buy a loaf of bread and, oh surprise, you made it home with some BREAD!
 
FIGHT SOME DRAGONS! TURN INTO BEYONCE! BECOME THE FIRST KING/QUEEN OF AMERICA!
 
Don't be ashamed to be creative. Don't be ashamed to be yourself.
 
Being your truest self through creativity is what writing is all about. I guarantee you, if you do this exercise before attempting to write a story or a paper, you will do a magnificent job.
 
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Sentence 1: Richard, a former rock star, was bananas about monkeys!
 
Your turn :)

$35p/h

Kimberly D.

The Word Nerd- Specializing in Writing/Test Prep

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