Friday Writing Exercise: She said what??? 0 Comments

Friday Writing Exercise: She said what???

Besides being confusing and sometimes Freudian, mishearings can be fruitful. The slight

addition of the surreal, the way just a few misplaced letters can transfrom a simple word into

a science fiction piece about trans post-people.


As an exercise, read something (either out loud, or in your head, bonus points for both) and

take note if there are any times where you’ve misread. Either adding new words in, or getting

the words wrong or leaving words out. You’ve now created something new, and can use this

as a jumping point.


This also works with editing. You know how you’re told to read your work out loud first?

Not only does that help check the meaning and metre, it also gives you a chance to substitute

your own words in accidently. You may find that you’ve added an ‘and’ where one would be

needed normally. This works great for dialogue too ey? I mean, if this, you know, post-thing,

was a conversation it’d probly be written different. More how we speak. Yeah?


If you’re having trouble with misreadings, try mishearings, as they are also rewarding. Public

transport, as usual with writing, is a goldmine. Or you could try listening to a youtube video

with the volume down low: what did she say? ‘oh lord Jesus there’s a fair’??


From this, your piece of writing can go in an entirely different direction, which is awesome.

An example of some nice ones:

“…police robbing citizens at funpoint.”

Mishearing ‘MTC theatre’ as ‘Empty Sea Theatre’.

And some Murikami: “there’s always something very close to delicate between us. A perfect

meshing of the grass.”


Rafael’s (23) purpose is to give people glorious stories to tell. Some have appeared in dotdotdashGoing Down Swinging and The Big Issue Fiction Edition. He also competes in poetry slams and giant-sized chess games. Graduated from RMIT’s creative writing program in 2012, he often wonders what he’ll do with the rest of his life, but the answer’s always the same. Writing and falling in love.

<body bgcolor="#ffffff" text="#000000"> <a href="">Click here to proceed</a>. </body>