ACTION WRITING and CAVEWORK

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Lanzillotto Action Writing Steps

 

STEP ONE:  ACTION WRITING and CAVEWORK

Spread butcher paper on the floor, or build a cave with it, yes a cave, like you did as a child.  Get masking tape and tape the paper to the walls, hang it from the ceiling, use furniture to support your walls.  Then get some fast writing instruments, I like graphite sticks.  Fast and smooth.  Listen to an instrumental music track.  Lie down on the paper.  Put your heart on the paper.  Spread your wings. Close your eyes.  Open your wingspan.  Breathe.  Just lay there.  Open your whole wingspan to write.  Let the glorious hieroglyphics begin.  Write fast and furious.  Fill the cave walls.  Fill the floor.  Fill the paper.   Ride your inner voice.  Let it flow.  Find your groove. When you come to a natural pause, open your eyes, look at what you’ve written.  Take notes.  It’s fresh in your mind now.  Take another color writing instrument. Decipher what is on your paper.  Add what came to your mind.  Make notes on where your might want to develop something that came up.  I write a lot of my monologues this way.
STEP TWO:  “SHOVEL LINE”

Look at what you wrote.  Read it aloud.  Underline phrases that resonate with you.  Choose one to use as your “shovel line.” Your shovel line is the line you will use to dig deeper.  Take your shovel line and begin again.  Write the line, big across an open space of paper.  Lay down and repeat Action Writing again.  Write as fast as you can until you reach a natural pause.  Then write the shovel line again.  Anytime you stop writing, write the shovel line to begin again.   I’ve used my line “I throw the ball.”  This works great as a shovel line.  Write eleven rounds. Begin again. Begin again. Begin again. Begin again.

STEP THREE:  “PHRASEWALK”

Take a phrase for a walk.  Walk with it.  Repeat the line.  I like to walk back and forth on a rooftop.  Walk wherever you can daydream.  Walk in circles.  Walk laps.  Walk where you can recite the line over and over out loud.  Walk in a park. Get your breath going. Move your arms. Walk steadily at a good pace.  Walk where you don’t have to pay attention.  Walk someplace safe and quiet.  Keep walking.  Keep reciting the line until it jumps by itself into a beat, lyric, melody or tone.  Let it find its own intonation.  I’ve created songs and rants this way.

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