Tuesday, March 22, 2011

My First Invention "Experiment"

While reading Geoffrey Sirc's article "Box-Logic" in Writing New Media, something struck me on page 112 when he wrote, "It was up to the reader to shuffle these cards as he or she pleased." This gave a visual and inspired (there's that word) me to create this first invention "experiment" for myself.

I went on to www.greatquotes.com and printed off the first four pages of "inspriational" and "creativity" quotes. I cut all of the quotes up onto their own little separate piece of paper and here are my plans:

  • for the "inspirational" quotes, I am going to pick several quotes (maybe 4 -5) at random and place them in the random order I picked them out in. So, essentially, I am going to draw these from a hat. I am then going to write a little fiction story based on the prompts.
  • then, I am going to do this again with this group of "inspirational" quotes, but this time, still in random order, I am going to start writing as I pick one prompt at a time and only pick a new one when I get stuck, so the quotes are going to write themselves.
  • Next, I am going to pick several more (maybe 8 - 10) quotes from the "creativity" pile. This first drawing will also be random, but I will look at all of them and put them in an order as I see fit and decide how to write about them at that time.

While I was cutting the quotes up, I was finding it hard not to read them as I went along. I didn't want to be aware of any of the quotes because I felt like that might hinder my invention in the future with this experiment. I don't want to think about these quotes before hand, and I don't want any preconceived notions about them when I get into my writing.

The one really interesting thing was that I printed 4 pages from each the "creativity" and the "inspirational" quote pool. Each of these pages had about about 8 quotes on it. There was one quote that spanned from the bottom of page one onto the top of page two and one of the sentences in that quote was cut in half. My first instinct was to disregard this quote and just throw it away, but instead, I taped it back together so it was readable. I haven't decided yet if this quote wanted to be written about or thrown away .... I guess I will find out.

More to follow ....


  1. I need to make a correction about my citation. It was on page 112, but Sirc was quoting Jean Sequet who was commenting on Marcel Duchamp's "Green Box."

  2. The cut-up method (which is what my brain automatically likens this process to) produces some interesting pieces, with the obvious allure of not knowing where you will start (or end!) because you don't know what you have. I really like your thought about disregarding a sentence that was cut in half but then ultimately keeping it. I'm interested in how this experiment will unfold!