Ever heard of “exquisite corpse”? It’s a drawing round-robin originally coined by the Surrealists in which one person draws the top of a person, one person draws the middle, and one person draws the bottom. The hilarious results are due to the fact that each subsequent drawer doesn’t see the previous work.  This is a great activity for the family (or a group of friends) when you’re waiting for food at a restaurant, trapped in a moving vehicle for hours, or when you’re desperate for some quiet and a laugh.  Here’s how to do it:

Fold a piece of paper in thirds. On the top third of the paper, the first person draws a head or many heads or, if your creature does not have a head per se, whatever is located on the toppish. Once your head is complete, draw the neck and continue the line just over the fold so that the second drawer knows where to start.


Turn your portion down so that second artist can’t see the top and then he/she draws the middle-ish section. When complete, continue the line of the torso just over the fold…


so that the final artist can draw some ambulatory-type appendages and voila:


If you’re wondering why I’m yammering on about drawing in my writing blog, it’s because we mimicked this process with storytelling.

Here’s how we wrote The Secret Story.  First, someone writes two sentences to begin a story. Make sure the sentences are on different lines because…then the writer turns over the first line and gives just the second line to the next writer. She writes two lines, turns one over, hands the second sentence to the next writer, and so on. Here’s the result of our Secret Story:



Kids don’t even have to be writing yet to play. You could act as the court reporter. The results are guaranteed to add a little bit of whimsy to our notion of writing.

Please snap a pic of your exquisite corpse story and send it to us. We’d love to read and share your crazy creations! –julia.

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