A bit of nonsense

I was struggling with my writing this morning, and somehow ended up procrastinating by changing all of the words in the first paragraph of my novel A Virtual Love to the first option that came up on Word’s thesaurus function. This was the result:

The timepiece marked noisily cutting-edge the still obverse area. We observed on him, consequently that we didn’t must toward appearance on all additional. The pointers of the timepiece remained altogether that enthused, separately after certain well atoms of powder whirling cutting-edge the motionless, sincere mid-air. I distinguish you continuously reviled that timepiece, nonetheless you observed it anyhow. The drive of the pointers was unnoticeable, nonetheless we distinguished that doubt we observed extended sufficient, three o’clock would develop three-fifteen, three-fifteen would develop three-thirty, then formerly a satisfactory period would must inwards aimed at you toward brand your reasons then permission.

There’s probably a serious writerly point I could make here about the use of thesauri, but really I was just killing time. I wonder, though, what would happen if I ran this paragraph through the thesaurus. Even more nonsensical, probably, but perhaps if I did it again and again, then on the 1,001st iteration, a completely different and completely beautiful story would suddenly emerge from the chaos.

Unlikely, I know. But if I have another tough writing day, I might find out…

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There are 14 comments

  1. You could probably write a very well received novel in this style, it has the ring of a chapter from Cloud Atlas or something where you’re creating your own fictional world and playing with syntax to form the language!

    1. Yes, Amy, I should give it a try! Maybe I’ll try a short story first, and see if readers can put up with it at that length, before subjecting them to it for 100,000 words 🙂

  2. Interesting experiment, Andrew. That passage was quite interesting to read. Hope things are better today and your writing has started flowing from your pen. Happy writing!

  3. That’s quite a taxing paragraph in a way, but an interesting idea. As you said the 1001 iteration I couldn’t help but wonder if at some point you’d make it back to the original. The odds wouldn’t be high but it’s an intriguing thought.

    I suppose the most important question is did it help?

    1. Yes, I suppose it helped in a way – it helped me to see a familiar passage in a new light, which perhaps opened up a few possibilities in my mind. Also it killed ten minutes or so in a fairly harmless way, and afterwards I went back to my writing feeling a bit more fresh, and made some progress!

  4. Now “postmodern” writers are busted. 🙂

    Another funny thing to do is write in English on an Azerty keyboard with the French dictionary as autocorrect.
    It gives awkward results.

    1. Yes, I have discovered their secrets! Hey, that does sound like fun. Actually I remember doing just that, by accident, last year when I visited Guadeloupe and Martinique. We were staying with people through Couchsurfing.org, and had to borrow people’s computers to arrange the next accommodation. If we wrote in English, it took a long time to find the right letters and even longer to correct the autocorrect. If we wrote in French, it just took a long time!

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