Opposite and Opposite

by Nancy Casey

Draw a line at the top of your page to save room for a title. Set aside a bit of space for drawing or doodling. Then write a sentence. About 10 or 15 words long.

It can be any sentence: a remark about your surroundings, something entirely made up, a memory, a wish—anything you think of.

One by one, consider the words that you have written. What is the opposite of each word? For some words, you might have to stretch your imagination a bit to come up with an opposite. Other words might not have opposites at all.

Pick out a word that is the opposite of one of the words in that first sentence, and weave that word into your second sentence somehow. Your second sentence can be about anything at all. You don’t have to make it connect to the first sentence unless you want to.

Consider the individual words of the second sentence and choose one of their opposites to use in your third sentence. Write the third sentence however you want.

Keep going like that. Work your way down the page writing sentences so that each sentence contains a word that is the opposite of one of the words in the sentence before it.

Write down whatever occurs to you. It’s not necessary to try to make the sentences all go together in a story or “make sense” somehow. You really can’t plan ahead. It’s more important to think about the interesting opposite words, notice the sentences that pop into your mind, and write one down when it seems like a good one to you.

When the page is full, go back over what you have written. Make small changes if you need to. Do the opposite words stand out very much? Did your writing turn out to be “about” something, even though you were writing somewhat random sentences?

Add some color or decoration to the page if you haven’t already. When you are satisfied with the page, give it a title and write the date on it, too. Here is an example of what someone could write.

You can share your work by posting it as a comment below. You can type it in, or take a photo of it and upload the image.

Nancy Casey has lived in Latah County for many years. You can find more of her work here. She taught the Write-For-You writing class at the Recovery Center last summer and will return again in the spring. For more information about classes and writing certificates, contact Nancy or the Latah Recovery Center.

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