Writing Prompt January 22nd – Blackout

Greetings, everyone! I hope everyone is doing well!


“Low- Hanging fruit”, a blackout poem by Austin Kleon, found HERE

For this week, I thought we give something that is popular a try, with of course doing it Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie style.

This week, I would like you to try your hand at Blackout technique.

The twist? The usual form for Blackout is Blackout poetry. I welcome all other forms of entry as well: flash fiction, stories, anything.

What is the Blackout technique?

The Blackout technique is when you take a text or a poem or an article, anything written really, and you black out most of the words with a black marker (or a digital equivalent), leaving only few words/parts uncovered. The uncovered words become your poem/story.

As I mentioned, most popular form is Blackout poetry, where one creates a poem from a blackout text or another poem even. It would be very interesting to also see short stories and flash fiction created this way. The sentences, left out, juxtaposed to one another to challenge the concepts of cult classics, such as maybe a paragraph from “To Kill a Mocking Bird”.

I hope you have fun participating, and please don’t forget to link up/pingback and tag your post with MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie, prompt, creative writing, blackout and similar.

I am looking forward to reading all entries!


    • Awesome you got to hear about something new! Give it a try, your way, however you see fit. I can guarantee it will be fun and challenging, and I think that’s just the best with prompts!

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  1. Thank you for the great challenge, Oloriel! I had trouble blacking out the text – I don’t have a thick black marker and my printer is playing up so I tried doing it in Word. I still had to print it out and scan it and it hasn’t come out as I’d like it to. I might give it another try tomorrow. 😉

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  2. I’ve heard of this…kind of like Spine poetry where you create a poem with book titles. Not a fan (of either). But I have an idea brewing using the concept of ‘blackout’. So that may have to do.


    • Hey, you can always do it on the computer. You can use the idea and for example scan an article with your eyes and just have a Notepad open. Just jot down the words that “catch your eye” or something else in the Notepad.
      It’s creative, and saves books, because I would never soil a real book by blacking out its pages!


  3. Intriguing, but I don’t think I have the equipment to play along. I could black out but I’ve had little luck photographing paper, and I don’t think I can scan into my computer — just print out — will enjoy what others do with the concept. I have heard of this, but never attempted.

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  4. This sounds interesting, any advice on what text to use, something found or something written? Not sure if I have the technology to do it though (don’t have access to a scanner and printer right now). I also feel silly for asking but how do I link anything I do for Mindlovemisery Menagerie? Just leave a link to it here or is there more to doing a link? Sorry for sounding daft! :/

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    • All well placed questions! I would love to see your entry!
      You can be as creative or not, as you want to be. The idea is to approach the prompt with creativity, but also not go over your limits , and end up frustrated.
      Use any text you like. Perhaps a text you cherish most, or if not, try a random text, random Wiki article, random news article for this date, a real pamphlet spam someone dropped in your post, a take-out menu. The possibilities are endless 😀
      As for linking up, you click on Mr Linky, the green thingy at the end of the post. It opens a page for you, where you input your nickname in top bracket, and a direct link to your post for this prompt in the other bracket. To Pingback, all you need to do it include a link to this post anywhere in your own blog post.
      Hope this helps, I am here for all of your questions!


  5. I suppose one could black out a text by setting both the background and the font color to black. However, a scan of something actually marked over with a black marker has a nice look.

    Nice approach to low-hanging fruit.

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    • In art, we way too often set equipment limitations. While it is challenging and helps us improve, sometimes, we learn likewise from improvisation,staying modest and learning how not to waste resources.
      Hope you give the prompt a chance, I would love to see your entry!


  6. Great prompt =) Lots of fun and to just let someone else to the base creation and then play with the ideas and words.

    I too used the “white out method” – figured it would be easiest. It certainly is less “graphic” looking, but I don’t have the energy to sit and try to work this with a base computer program like “paint” and all that – so it’s a bit different in feel, but adds another dimension to it as well.

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