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 prompt comes from Rick Barot, author of Chord.
The Exercise: One Sentence
Because I’m a teacher of writing, I sometimes catch myself saying grandly irresponsible things like: “If you don’t care about how syntax works, or how syntax works in your writing, you’re never going to be a good writer.” Which is only to say that I think syntax is a crucial thing for a writer. In my own writing, I’m always challenging myself to create sentence constructions—from the most simple to the most ornate—that dramatize the content and meaning of each poem I’m writing. One of the most challenging poems in the book for me to write was “Syntax,” because I gave myself the task of writing a poem that was one long continuous sentence, even if I knew that the grammar would get funky along the way. So here’s the prompt: write a poem that’s one continuous sentence. Don’t cheat by using semi-colons!