Post-Halloween Writing Exercises

Hey there, poets! Many of our prose writing comrades are beginning to burrow themselves into the leafy soil of NaNoWriMo. You may be sitting on your bathroom floor a half-eaten Laffy Taffy stuck to your face, wondering if there are any special post-Halloween writing exercises that are just for poets. The answer is no. These exercises are for prose writers too.

1. Candy Wrapper Ransom Note

Before you get too excited, you can put away rope and duct tape. This exercise is more ransom note inspired than felony.

What you’ll need:

  •    paper
  •    scissors
  •    double sided tape
  •    the growing mound of candy wrappers you been collecting in your bed

Cut letters and words out of your candy wrappers. Use them to compose poems, flash fiction, novels (the more candy you eat the more options you have). Use double sided tape to attach them to the paper. Don’t use glue. Don’t do it.

2. Correspondence of Fears

Halloween is the perfect time of year to be reminded of all the things you fear. What scares you the most? Clowns? Ghosts? Student loans? Write a letter to whatever or whoever it is that scares more than anything. Try writing multiple letters. One could be a formal declaration of war. In one you could extend a hand of friendship. Another could be a break up letter. You could also try writing it/them a love letter. Get as steamy as you like.

3. The Method Writing Writing Method

Spend the day looking at the world through the eyes of your Halloween costume—metaphorically. Go to work, school, the grocery store—live your normal everyday life—but from the perspective of whatever or whoever you dress up as this year. If maintaining your personal and professional relationships is a priority for you, you might consider only imagining what your costume persona would say or do in certain situations. When you get home write about all the bizarre experiences you had as your costume that would have been commonplace for you as yourself.

4. Costume Crossover

I’m only going to give myself half credit for this last exercise, because it’s so similar to the previous one. Write about what you did on Halloween, but do it as your costume. Describe everyone in costume as if they really are whoever or whatever they are dressed up as. Describe all of the Halloween decor as if it is real. You can stop with just the description, or you can write a semi- or entirely fictional narrative using those characters and settings.

Mary Means
Mary Means
Contributing Editor for New Plains Review.

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