Saturday, September 17, 2011

Scramble Your Words

About a month and a half ago, I pasted the entire text of my MFA thesis (a book of poetry) into this Text Scrambler.

I had already done a concordance with my manuscript, several times, and found it really helpful. The scramble was helpful in a similar way. It's strange because much of the original spacing and line breaks were preserved, but the words were completely recombined. I got crazy and amazing combinations that turned my own writing into something new and strange to me. Examples I think are cool: "I potbelly," "the silvered," "& my all/plaid," "Ocean out," "were plucked black over him, "raised our dolphin in celebration,""my skinny is porn," etc. Those aren't phrases I would necessarily write, but they capture the sense and the scope and the mood of the book in a way I certainly didn't expect. I saved the scramble in a Word file and I'm actually working on making some totally new poems from some of the phrasing I found in it.

I initially hoped using the Text Scramble would give me some ideas for a new title, but what I ended up getting was a weird and awesome jumble that made me look at the language used in my book (my own language!) in a completely different way.

If you're feeling stuck with a story, poem, or with a manuscript, give it a try.

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