Revision and Drafting Techniques

Before you dive into the prompts today, I wanted to share a few possible revision/drafting/redrafting techniques. The following two strategies can be hit and miss, but I have found some surprising inspiration from them (and feel free to use these as prompts today). 

Let the universe do a bit of work for a change:

  • Found in Translation

Take a passage of prose (your own or a section of found prose) and feed it into several languages in Google Translate, i.e. English-Croatian-Swahili-Scots Gaelic-Mandarin-French-English. When it comes out the other end (in English again), you may find a great phrase or inspiring bad translation to riff off. 

  • Artificial Intelligence

Let a robot write for you! Paste in the opening to a story (or a snippet of found text) and see what this text generation API comes up with:

 Deep AI Text Generator

It may give you a few sentences to work with or it may suggest a different approach to a story. Either way, it’s fun to see what is automatically generated. 

For extra credit, listen to this episode of This American Life for a real-life story of a woman using an AI to write about her dead sister: 

The Ghost in the Machine (This American Life Podcast)

[thisamericanlife.org]