Authors who are "Differently Expertised"...

Authors who are "Differently Expertised"...

01 February 2011

The Writing "Game"

Last week we enjoyed a visit from a long-time friend, and spent an afternoon playing a game she'd sent us for Yule.  The game's called You've Been Sentenced!  Each player gets 10 word cards, and must make a defensible sentence using only the words on the cards.  The box promises that hilarity will ensue, and it does not disappoint.

"Both of my hairy hogs will have mistakenly itched because of grounding."  Sentences like that definitely need defending; here's the back story I offered:  Hogs, as everyone knows, like to roll in the dirt.  Unfortunately, my hogs were unable to distinguish clover from poison ivy, and thus made the mistake of rolling on the poison ivied ground, exuberantly enough that the irritant worked its way through their thick hair, making them itch.

So -- from this we might get a story about magic hogs, whose powers were diminished by the itch, or one about the comic episodes in a hog farmer's life.  Or, maybe something about assorted protective qualities of long or thick hair, or an article about how to distinguish poison ivy from other plants.  Memoirs might be inspired.  Other poisonous plants might be brought to mind, or other hog-like animals.  Something about rolling in clover for real?

But there's another way to be prompted by the game.  Most of the cards show five forms of a word -- for example, stop, stops, stopped, stopping, and stopper.  Playing the game, you must choose one form of the word to use in your sentence.  But if you need a prompt, you can draw one card and write a sentence, a paragraph, or even a log line using all the forms.  Stop stopping Nancy!  She pulled all the stops out, stopped Emmet, and told Ed to put a stopper in it. 

Okay, those two sentences might not inspire the most amazing short story of the 21st century, but you never know.  Who's Nancy?  Who's stopping her?  Who's running interference for her?  Who are Emmet and Ed, and why do they need stopping?  What did Nancy tell Ed to put a stopper in?  (Is he a motor mouth, or a mad scientist?)

You can get writing ideas from lots of other games, too.  Scrabble and Boggle leap to my mind.  Check your game shelf and see what you come up with!

4 comments:

Jude Johnson said...

Great ideas, Ashleen! Always good to find methods of stimulating one's muse.

Moochi's Mom said...

Thank Godess for Jude who helped me get beyond the Google sentries... sigh...they prevented me from saying good, wonderful things about Ash's comment.

Loved it! And I love the cats!

Donald McNeill said...

Thank you so much for writing about my game and I am glad to hear you had a good time. we are releasing the NASA Space Terminology Add-on-Deck this month at Toy Fair in NYC. Maybe your hogs will get itchy skin from moon dust this time.

Jude Johnson said...

WooHoo, moon dust hogs blinded by starlight...
Thanks, Donald!