2001 Space Oddity

I came across a great version of Also Sprach Zarathustra, the song that has long been associated with Kubrick’s film of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

The orchestra swapped instruments and attempted to play the music to the best of their ability, resulting in a wonderfully mutated and discordant version that seems to hover on the edge of its true form.

I love how a piece of music so familiar has been transformed into something different just by switching tools. It seems like this could be applied to writing. So here’s a suggestion of how to apply this to your writing.

Change the rules and tools you usually use to construct prose. Like writing short, sharp lines? Have a go at long sprawling sentences that run for a full page. Try avoiding all commas.

Mess up the words and let language become more fluid. Invent new words. Find surprising new uses for familiar ones. Turn verbs into nouns. Nouns into verbs. Glue two words together to make new ones.

Add in strange constraints. Write using only one sense: touch, sound, taste. Never use the letter ‘i’. Use anagrams or hide secret messages in the first letter of every line.

Experiment with different styles or genres. Dickens. Hemmingway. Steampunk.

Write from an awkward point of view – an animal, a teapot, the air.

I’m going to have a play around today and see where this new way of working takes me.

Photo credit: Athena lluz

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