Day 14: Think of a New Title for an Old Piece
Kerry Elson on finding something new in an existing draft
We have reached the last day of the challenge! As I mentioned, if you are completely behind, feel free to catch up today by writing 14 funny lines. And the chat is open for accountability/funny lines/catching up.
We are closing out with an excellent prompt from Kerry Elson, who has probably made you laugh via one of her humor pieces.
Do you have a folder of old drafts or rejected pieces that are sitting around? My folder like that is called "Old Stuff." Try rereading one of those old pieces and finding the funniest part. Can you write a whole piece about that idea instead? If you think that might work, what would the title of that piece be?
Here's an example of how I did this one time. I had a piece about ways that I might respond to kindergarteners asking me questions about my body and personal life -- like they would ask, "What's that red dot on your face?" and "Are you married?" The title was, "Ways that I, a kindergarten teacher, respond to students' questions about my body and relationship status."
When I was revising the piece, I realized the most interesting part was, to me, was when I was trying to explain why I wasn't married. So I decided to make that the whole piece. New title: "A kindergarten teacher tries to answer students' questions about her marital status." The piece worked much better!
So that is my suggestion for today -- read an old draft, zero in on the funniest part, and think of a title for a new piece based just around that. Thanks for trying it out!
Kerry Elson is a teacher and writer in New York City. See more of her work at kerryelson.org.
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