Friday Exercise: Workin’ Up a Routine

Posted on 24 April 2009

Formulas and methodologies are useful tools for learning how to create new works. Sadly, some people get so much money out of selling these formulas and others rely on the formulas to help form their opinions, that they convince us the formulas are more than tools and are somehow set in holy stone. This is poppycock.

Your processes are your own. However you get at creating something interesting is fine. And something interesting is likely to be something unexpected and original. You won’t find that with a formula. You will find it by following your own vision. Finding your own vision is often a process of understanding other’s visions and methods, then experimenting and practise, practise, practise.

So with that in mind, this is one method for playing around and putting together a routine. Sometimes I use it, sometimes I don’t.

1. Find a subject.

Anything that you know stuff about and interests you.

2. Write out all the words you can think of relating to the subject.

This would include both descriptive words and words that are used concerning the field, such as for carpentry you might include “noisy” and “nails”.

3. Write out all of the related cliches to both subject and words.

We’re both digging up the field and planting the seeds for the routine with the creation of all this information.

4. Write out related double entendres.

This is where I usually excel. Double entendres are like comic poetry using all sorts of metaphoric imagery.

5. Write out all synonyms, antonyms, and homonyms related to your words.

Well, maybe not ALL, but a healthy list will help get the creative juices going.

6. Looking at this stuff do you see any odd/unexpected relationships?

Pay especial attention to this area. This sort of comedy seems to be the new leading edge.

7. Make a list of your own stories and anecdotes concerning the subject.

This is where you’ll get the most emotional oomph for your routine.

8. Write out any images or similes that come to mind.

See, more poetry.

9. Always have a miscellaneous section.

Anything that comes to mind and doesn’t belong under the other headings should go here. Sometimes this is where your best ideas turn up.

I probably should have structured this so it came up a sensible number of items like ten or twelve, but this should give you a start.

For today’s exercise I’m not going to ask you to follow all nine points, but I would like to see a subject and three evocative words relating to it. Even if they aren’t readily funny, they should suggest funny.


Subject – Cats

Words – felines, furballs, fixing

Peace and kindness,


Responses are closed for this post.

Recent Posts

Tag Cloud

constitution environment human rights united nations


Katherine Phelps is proudly powered by WordPress and the SubtleFlux theme.

Copyright © Katherine Phelps