Abecedarian Writing

Abecedarian writing is a twenty-six-line poem, list essay or story written so that the first word of each line follows in alphabetical order.

Start your first line with the letter A, the second with the letter B. Then continue until you end with a line starting with the letter Z. The restriction on starting words helps you think differently and be more focused on word choice.

For a variation on this style, take your name or a favorite stanza and choose words with those letters as the first words of the lines of your writing.

There’s not much to be found about this style of writing. Poets & Writers gives a short description. FamilyFriends Poems offers some sample poems and a template.

Here’s a sample story. Childhood Crush Ends

Frozen Water

It’s said there are many ways to describe snow. Write down as many words as you can think of that describe frozen water or winter storms. Then check out some of the lists.

Read The Washington Post article There really are 50 Eskimo words for ‘snow’ for more information on anthropologist Franz Boas who studied the life of the Inuit people in the 1880s. “Mentioning his observations in the introduction to his 1911 book “Handbook of American Indian Languages,” he ignited the claim that Eskimos have dozens, or even hundreds, of words for snow.”

  • StudioKnow offers 47 Eskimo words for snow with meanings.

50 Words for Snow is a studio album by English singer-songwriter Kate Bush released in November 2011 with seven songs against a “background of falling snow.”

The Scots language beats them all with 421 different snow-related words and expressions. Hear some of them on the BBC.