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Posts Tagged ‘doggerel’

Kurt R.A. GiambastianiOver the weekend, I experimented with the “clustering” technique, with mixed success.

It is a great idea generation tool, and similar to Ray Bradbury’s morning word association ritual, can seemingly bring something out of nothing. It needs a seed, a kernel from which to grow, so it’s not literally “from nothing,” but that kernel can just be the first word that pops into your head. I’ve had success before, born of this sort of free-wheeling (my Ploughman Chronicles started from just such a random idea generation technique), but what clustering provides is a definite method.

Another way I found it of use is in focusing and honing an idea I already had. I used it when I created “25 Hz,” posted yesterday. I already had the idea, born of a crappy mood and a little cat therapy, but didn’t know exactly what I wanted to say. Clustering around the word “purr” gave me a page of word associations and–to my surprise–almost all of them appeared in the short poem.

However, there was one area in which I found clustering to be of no use whatsoever: Rhyming.

Yesterday, I got the bit of doggerel stuck in my head. I knew the start. I knew the finish. I just needed help with the in-between bits, all of which needed to fit in with a strict meter and rhyming scheme. Here, clustering failed me, utterly. To finish, I had to resort to an old school method; I slept on it.

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