Writing Prompts

A Writing Prompt from Steven Cramer, author of CLANGINGS.

Each Friday we post one new writing prompt created by a Sarabande author. Prompts like this one are included in our online Reader's Guides along with discussion questions and suggested reading to accompany each title. So if you can't wait a week for the next prompt, visit our Reader's Guide page to find them all in one place!

This week's Friday Writing Prompt comes from Steven Cramer, author of Clangings (2012)

Scene of a Crime

Clangings, Steven Cramer
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Find a descriptive passage in a mystery or crime novel—preferably a passage that leaves out the characters, but with strong atmosphere and details. Copy that passage out and think of it as the descriptive grounding for a poem. Experimenting with line and line break, fashion it around a speaker. Redeploy the details to break free from the source. Braid into the passage parts of unfinished drafts of your own. As you revise your piece away from your source text, try to hold onto the spirit/atmosphere of that source.