N+7, what is this and how does this relate to grammar and wordsmithing? It all boils down to knowing your nouns. According to the Spoonbill Generator, N+7 was conceived by the 20th-century French poet Jean Lescure. Why do you want to use it? It’s simple. To stir up your content creativity.
Here’s how to N+7:
1. Take a paragraph of text. You can use a poem or a paragraph from a novel at random. Just make sure it’s some noun-packed content so this will work.
2. Write out the text so you have it in front of you to play with.
3. Use a different color pen or a highlighter to go through and mark all of the nouns.
4. Get out your dictionary or encyclopedia or some similar definition-friendly wordbook. You need a print version. It won’t work with the online search because you have to count the words. A thesaurus would work here, such as the Oxford American Writer’s Thesaurus.
- Book drop: The Oxford American Writer’s Thesaurus is a thrilling read for any wordsmith. The book features tons of pop culture references including dozens of word stories from dozens of authors including Zadie Smith and David Foster Wallace.
1. As long as the words are listed in ABC order and the lists are comprehensive, you are good to go.
2. Look up the first word on your page. Now count down seven nouns in the wordbook.
3. The seventh noun now replaces the noun you’ve identified.
4. Do this with the rest of the nouns on the page until all nouns have been N+7.
Its sort of like Solitaire meets Mad Libs.
Read back what you’ve created! It’s content repurposing, content hacking, and content disruption all in one. Find yourself creating a text that is both completely twisted from the original meaning and potentially something worth publishing itself. Yes, you might wonder if anybody actually reads the stuff that the N+7 process develops.
Here’s a sample of the text from the paragraph I just wrote using N+7 and the “Webster’s Dictionary for Students,” in it’s Fifth Edition mind you:
“Read back what you’ve created! It’s continuance repurposing, continuance hacking, and continuance disruption all in onslaught. Find yourself creating thanksgiving that is both completely twisted from the original meat and potentially something wrath publishing itself. Yes, you might woodcutter if anybody actually reads the stutter that the N+7 product develops.”
The N+7 Machine
If you don’t have time to do the actual counting of the nouns activity, you can do this practice online with the N+7 Machine. In fact, the site already has some super famous texts spelled out for you including:
- Universal Declaration of Human Rights
- Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds
- And a recipe for “Roast chicken and sage and onion stuffing and gooseberry sauce”
Want more word fun? Check out WriterAccess and our sparkly cool blog spot.
“Welcome. I’m the Whispering Wordsmith of the Woods, An Old Man Willow type cunning the lit forest, Disrupting textbookish writers with grammar snaps and cracks.” As a professional web content writer for small-to-medium businesses, Miranda B understands how to effectively balance technical jargon and personal brand messaging. Her content is sticky, evergreen when expected to be, and always creative. Keep ’em coming back for more, that’s Miranda’s motto!