Freestylin’

 

Freewriting is what you write when there’s no one looking. Freewriting is the madman in your brain taking the controls and sending words all the way down to the tips of your fingers. Freewriting is where you’ll find the most brilliant story ideas, if you look hard enough.

To freewrite, just write. Write the first word that comes to mind and then follow it with another. Set an alarm if you can. Don’t worry about grammar, structure, character development – just write. And when you’re done, stand back and take a look. Is there anything in there you can use. I’ll say there is!

Here’s an example:

‘Right now I’m sitting at my computer and the coffee cup is on the edge of my desk. It looks a little like an iceberg, as it is white and chipped and cold because the coffee has been in it since the morning as I didn’t do the washing up last night and the sink is full of plates and saucers. All those plates look surreal sitting unwashed in the sink like that. All at different angles like a Picasso painting with ketchup instead of paint dribbled over the plates. I wonder if Picasso got his ideas from waking up one morning and seeing his jumble of washing up in the sink I wonder if all the museums in the world actually have pictures of Picasso’s washing up and not his mistresses and Guernica and does that mean the joke is on us?’

The above freewrite might seem silly but it’s also an example of how freewriting could, potentially, inspire a proper piece of writing. This daft thought about Picasso’s washing up could easily be worked into a comedy radio play where a hung-over Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse wake up after a night out on the town and dare each other to paint a picture of the mess of washing up in the sink. Thus, the modern art movement is accidentally launched. Another possibility you could take from this freewrite is the concept that something generally considered ugly and in need of repair or attention (washing up) can lead to tremendous artistic inspiration – and this idea could form the kernel of a short story or a poem.

Here, chose one of the prompts below and let it lead you into a three minute freewrite.

I wish I had said….

It was no use pretending….

A long time ago…

For the first time ever….

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About suehealy

Multi award winning Irish writer/playwright Sue Healy’s work has been supported and developed by the Abbey Theatre, the Peggy Ramsay Foundation, the Heinrich Boll Association and the Tyrone Guthrie Centre. Her 2016 play ‘Brazen Strap’ ran at the King’s Head Theatre, funded by Arts Council England. Her work has also shown at the Hackney Attic and Etcetera Theatres in London. Sue’s nine radio dramas have broadcast on BBC Radio 4, WLRfm, KCLR96fm. A UEA Creative Writing MA alumna, she spent eleven years in Budapest, editing Hungary A.M. Presently, she is London-based, researching a PhD on the Royal Court Theatre. Sue is Literary Manager at the Finborough Theatre. View all posts by suehealy

5 responses to “Freestylin’

  • peculiarpotato

    Hello SweetPotato! I must say,I agreed with everything you said.I like to write pages upon pages, free writing. A lot of the time, I let my mind wander,with a pen as my compass,I shall surely find the end! With my mind deeply ruminating on the soul of the project, my heart beats in tune with my subconscious,it is their where I pull the words from the ether! Much Love.Sincerely, PeculiarPotato to SweetPotato.

  • asheleyollennu

    I’d need someone standing nearby with a ruler. I can’t help myself; It takes me 100X more hours to write because I delete over, and over, or check historical facts, and so on.

  • josephrathjen

    When I can’t seem to get my writer’s voice onto the screen I freewrite. You can quickly lose that rapid heartbeat you feel when inspiration hits you if you concentrate too much on grammar and editing. Would you obey a Stop sign if a tractor-trailer is bearing down behind you at 90 miles per hour with no air brakes? There’s plenty of time for editing one was the message is set out there.

  • joseasanoj

    Good Post
    Sanoj Jose(Author, My Day Out With An Angel)

  • Freewriting Fridays | Very Novel

    […] Freestylin’ (suehealy.org) […]

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