Surrealist Writing Games

Sounds kind of like Reindeer Games. But detailed instructions to surrealist writing can be found halfway through André Breton’s Surrealist Manifesto, which requires at least two hours and a strong cup of tea to make any kind of sense.

Essentially, the goal is to tap into your subconscious. Sit, clear your mind, and begin to write–not focusing on what you’re writing or what you’ve written, only moving forward with the flow of the act. Writes Breton, “the first sentence will come spontaneously, so compelling is the truth that with every passing second there is a sentence unknown to our consciousness which is only crying out to be heard.”

A friend and I tried the practice out: It’s absolutely harder than it sounds, equally fun, and I invite anyone to try it out. We certainly had fun laughing at our results. Below is my most viewable piece.

Slashing and violent do the urges come to us, the authors, creators, merry-makers, weaving lost threads under the suns of our ancestors: what is sense? But the moment to moment daze, understanding flashes of white, of the apples which bloom beneath our feet to perish and make merry the ebullient tomatoes of servitude, sorrow, reminiscing. Do not but fear at the faint thought of the scavenger, whom to all else is nothing. Let carnage strip from beaks, flesh from feathers that reach the night. Every thought is fluttering, passing, self-aware. It hurts!



3 thoughts on “Surrealist Writing Games”

  1. Yay! I love surrealist writing games. So much fun. They’re a great way to get the imagination sparked, too. I enjoyed reading your results. Especially liked “apples which bloom beneath our feet”.

    Have you checked out “Surrealist Games” ( Redstone press) ? It’s gorgeously packaged, and includes a hardcover book, a “dictionary” (really just a pamphlet thingy, but full of fascinating surrealist ‘re-definitions’), postcards with poetry and mirror writing, and a really cool poster. It’s all just delicious.

    Anyway, I found your post while browsing the “writing games” tag on wordpress. There was, sadly, very little actual writing game action to be found :/, so it was great to see this post nestled in there amongst it all. I hope you continue to enjoy the surrealist writing games!


      1. No worries! If you’re into surrealism, you’ll definitely like it. It’s packaged beautifully, too.

        I didn’t really know if there was such a thnig, either; i simply typed it into the search in the reader, and voila! Although, as i mentioned, there wasn’t a lot of actual writing games going on, and i wonder why half of them ( or more than half, really) were tagged as such. Maybe if i spent a lot more time sifting through, i’d find more. I’m sure cool things would appear there every so often ( such as your post!)


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