A Monster Writing Exercise

This isn’t a fiction writing exercise. It has its roots in the writing of scholarship, but I think it might still be valuable as a way of working with any text you’ve written.

I like the premise of addressing the text directly.

This exercise can be found in this blog post.

“In the workshop ‘Monster Writing’, which was held in November 2019 at ETHOSLab, the IT University of Copenhagen, we explored text as something somewhat monstrous. Drawing on Nina Lykke’s exorcise of ‘writing the posthuman’ – in which she suggests that the writer addresses the object of their writing as a ‘you’ directly in the text – we wanted to experiment with what it might be like to address the text itself in this way, as a you, but out loud. A summoning. We therefore asked the participants of the workshop to bring a text that they were somehow not completely happy with.”

The workshop exercise was subsequently folded into a scholarly article titled Writing bodies and bodies of text: Thinking vulnerability through monsters.

“The aim with Monster Writing and thinking about writing through the monster is not to do away with the experience of vulnerability in the encounter with the unruly, at times anxiety-inducing text. On the contrary: with this exercise we hope to acknowledge the vulnerability at stake in the encounter with the unruly text and to find ways to live with the monster-text. In this article, we explore how the act of writing can be understood as an act of living with the monstrous “other,” and how despite not being in control of one’s creations, the creator must still remain accountable for them. As such, we argue that writing methods are fundamentally a question of ethics; one must remain accountable for how one learns to see and write the world…, as well as for the text creations the creator unleashes upon the world. By approaching writing through the figure of the monster, we hope to find means of expressing and thinking vulnerability not as an issue that must be circumvented, but as an inherent part of writing.”

So many fun and interesting ideas in this article! Can’t wait to start digging out some of these citations.

(100 Days of Blogging: Post 043 of 100)

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