Contradictory Exercise

Take a story you have already written that was never finished or that you do not like very much (a story which seems to be lacking something). With each sentence, in some way substitute opposite words or feelings for the source text. For example: “I went to the gym” becomes “I went for a smoke”;  or “He stood” becomes “She sat”; “I am” becomes “I’m not”,  “She felt lovely” becomes “She felt hideous”. This is obviously a strange, experimental exercise— and it is possible that nothing good will come of it!  Uhm. At least it will be interesting, and will give you a good excuse to get back inside a story that has been lingering too long.

Okay, here is an example of mine. The beginning of an unfinished story called “Chicken Man”

Chicken Man

“Chicken-man thinks lack of money is the problem in our marriage. He has covered the house with telephones for productivity. Sometimes he’ll call me from the living room and gently suggest that I get back to work.”

After the Contradictory Exercise:

“Rooster girl thinks we’re swimming in money and that it’s ruining us. She has peppered our cabin with hand-written index cards, a list of what she believes will make us less blissful together. “Torn socks”. “Bruised fruit”. Sometimes no sound from the bathroom at all, and then she’ll yell “Too much!”e5c9c44e6ca84b66c14307965a0e4b59