FWE: cut up and craft on 0 Comments

FWE: cut up and craft on

This week we’re going to take some inspiration from our friends at Scissors Paper Pen. Well, at least their name.

Sometimes it can be fun to work with material that isn’t yours – and it can be even more fun to do so while getting your craft on. The exercise today is one you’ve probably done before in some form or other. Get a newspaper or magazine or old book you’ve kept but you know you’ll never actually read or sell and a pair of scissors. Now get cutting. You can cut out letter by letter, word by word, phrase by phrase, sentence by sentence, etc. etc. Then shuffle these fragments to create your own text.

While it may seem tedious, it’s also quite invigorating to work with material that isn’t just pen to paper or keyboard to screen. It can also be quite challenging to restrict yourself to words that only exist in the text your using. I also get that some people may resist the idea of slicing up the words of others, so feel free to print out a page of your own work and have at it! This latter option can be really interesting as it’s a very physical form of self-editing and reworking. For an added challenge, those of you who are politically minded may find it extra fun to cut up a speech by your favourite politician and scramble it around to lay bare the subtext.

As always, I’d be really interested to see what you come up with!



Cathy Tran (21) joined Voiceworks in 2009 as a sweet and shy little being. The committee took a tough-love stance towards her, forcing her to create an alter-ego named ‘Sassy Tran’ (alternatively, @crazytran on Twitter). She went to the National Young Writers’ Festival a couple of times to help run workshops and enjoy the sea bath. She’s also travelled to Tasmania to be part of a panel about getting into publishing, an initiative run by the Twitch. She is currently studying creative writing and linguistics at Melbourne Uni, which, most of the time, involves staring at children and wondering how they tick.

– See more at: http://www.voiceworksmag.com.au/2013/10/friday-writing-exercise-lipogram-fun/#sthash.Y9UALyrS.dpuf

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