Many writers live in fear of repeating themselves, afraid that the reader will get bored of hearing the same phrase or detail multiple times. Sometimes, however, the use of repetition can be a valuable literary tool.
Anaphora is a common rhetorical device used in speeches and songs, defined by the repetition of a word or a phrase at the beginning of a sentence. For example, in Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech, he uses anaphora to convey a sense of urgency:
“Now is the time
to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time
to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time
to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time
to make justice a reality.”
Although anaphora is commonly used in nonfiction works, it can also be a powerful tool to create tone and mood in fiction. For this prompt, allow yourself to become comfortable with repetition. Write a story in which every sentence begins with a repeated word or phrase. You can use the same phrase throughout, or a different one each paragraph — the choice is yours!
For more inspiration, check out these examples from Community Ambassadors pretzel_time
(This prompt was designed by Community Ambassador Alum, typos, many of them)