A to Z Blog Challenge: K is for Karaoke (Writer’s Karaoke, that is)

I hope each of you have had the opportunity to experience karaoke in some form. Whether it’s playing karaoke at home on your wii or nintendo, or at a party or karaoke bar. Karaoke is tremendously popular in Japan, where the name comes from, as well the Philippines, where it’s known as Minus-One.

As an aside, I have a friend who went to the Philippines with his girlfriend and her family. Apparently, karaoke is so popular there, when you go to a family picnic, everyone pulls out their karaoke machines and sings. He said it was impossible to get away from it, and he spent a good deal of time under water, immersing his head in the ocean to escape the cacophony of sounds.

Now, on to writer’s Karaoke. Well, as you know, karaoke consists of people singing along with recorded music. The words appear on the screen in front of them.

Fine. But how does that apply to writers?

Well, it’s where you rewrite someone else’s words.

The next part is what makes it a fun exercise. Take a paragraph (or 125 words, whichever is less) from a book you are reading and then either:

  • Write something similar, copying their style (credit them, of course!).


  • Take their words and assimilate them in a new order, to create an arrangement of words with new meaning.

Try this on your blog and then link back to the person who referred you (e.g., me)

I chose the second option.

Here is a paragraph from Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg, which is truly a great book about writing. (form the chapter: Be An Animal)

“When you are not writing, you are a writer too. It doesn’t leave you. Walk with an animal walk and take in everything around you as prey. use your senses as an animal does. Watch a cat when he sees something moving in the room. He is perfectly still, and at the same time, his every sense is alive, watching, listening, smelling. This is how you should be when you are in the streets. The cat’s mind is not thinking about how much money he needs, or whom to write a post-card to when he visits Florence: he is watching the mouse or the marble rolling across the floor or the light reflecting in crystal. He is ready with all of him to pounce.”

And my Karaoke version:

How it is when Florence doesn’t leave. When he visits, watch, everything around you is his prey. He is perfectly still. When you are writing, you walk to the streets. The cat’s mind is not about the mouse, or a reflecting in crystal. Should you be listening to how much money he needs? Or walk in, ready to pounce? Thinking this, “He is an animal with all.” Watch whom he sees write a post-card. He sees something, watching the marble, or the light rolling across the floor with him. When you are watching, at the same time, take in your senses, smelling of cat, use as an animal does, and every sense is alive. Watch his moving time in the room. Are you a writer too?


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