Write for You: Boxes and Bridges

by Nancy Casey

Write a sentence.  Any sentence at all.  Ten words or so. A sentence from your life, your week or your imagination.  Maybe you’d prefer to pluck a sentence from something you wrote earlier. Or something that you heard, or read, or just plain made up.  The only requirement is that the sentence is interesting to you somehow.  Write it anywhere on the page.

Draw a box around your sentence.

Pick out an interesting word or little group of words from your sentence.  Draw a box around that.

Here’s the tricky part.  You must draw a line that leads from the little box around your word all the way out into somewhere in the big blank space on the paper. As soon as you start drawing that line, though, it is going to bump into the edge of the bigger box that you drew around the whole sentence.  Don’t bump that line, hop over it.  To do that, you must draw your line like a little bridge.  Make it into a little underpass.  Or an overpass.

This might make more sense if you look at an example.  Think of it as though the word in the little box is escaping from the sentence in the big box.

For the next step, you will write a sentence that uses the “escaped word” somewhere in the big white space on the page.  Draw a box (or a circle) around the new sentence.  Think about it and find a word or phrase that wants to escape from the new sentence.  Draw a box (or some kind of shape) around that. Then draw the line (or road) that leads it out of the box.  But don’t forget to make a little bump, some kind of a bridge that hops over the edge of the bigger box.

And then just keep on going.  You don’t have to do everything in perfect order.  Sometimes two different words will want to escape from the box by two different routes.  All you have to do is keep pulling words out of the sentences in the big boxes and use them to write new sentences for new boxes

It won’t be long before you have filled up the whole page.

 Don’t forget to mark the date and give your page a title. 

Nancy Casey teaches writing classes at the Recovery Center on Thursdays.  Check the calendar for classes and times.  All are welcome.  She coordinates Recovery Radio, which airs on KRFP 90.3 FM in Moscow Thursdays at 1:05 PM. Recovery Radio needs on-air and off-air volunteers.  Call the Recovery Center  208-883-1045 or email latahrecoverycenter@gmail.com for more information.



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