Let’s play a game

Tonight we’re going to play a game!  (I’m tired; it’s the best I’ve got.)

Without looking at a dictionary, let’s come up with as many words as we can that start with F with at least 3 syllables.  I’ll get us started.

Facetious
Fatuous
Fantastic
Fabulous
Forthrightness
Fundamental
Futuristic
Fanatical
Flammable
Fortieth
Formulaic
Friendliness
Fluffiest
Filibuster
Filament

Okay, I did fifteen.  Now it’s your turn!  Add some more in the comments, and remember, it’s a vocabulary challenge.  No dictionaries!

Advertisements

Description Game Follow-Up: A Confession

On Monday I posted a little game for you to play.  If you missed it, you can read more here.

For a review, here are the descriptions that I wrote:

1. She lifted the plump, glistening berry to her lips.  As she bit into it, sweet juices flooded her mouth.  She grinned and reached for another.

2. The liquid was refreshing as it rushed down his throat.  He took another mouthful and let the cold sweetness linger before he swallowed.  With a sigh of contentment he carefully set down his glass on a coaster.

3. As the steam rose, she inhaled and enjoyed the scent of the soup in front of her.  She dipped her spoon into the bowl and let the savory warmth pour across her tastebuds.  Reaching for a piece of bread, she held it into the soup and let it soak.

4. He grinned as he licked the sweet, creamy icing off of his fingers.  With one finger still coated, he dabbed the bottom of the cupcake paper to collect the last few crumbs.  One cupcake gone, he paused and then reached for a second.

Before I tell you the “answers” I have a confession.  For two of these, specifically #2 and #3, I didn’t have a concrete image in my head when I wrote them.   In fact, I wavered between a couple of different items as I wrote them.   Now that I’ve made that admission, here’s what I was picturing.

1. Strawberry – this is the description that inspired the game!
2. I wavered between lemonade and sweet tea.
3. I started with beef and vegetables, then switched to baked potato.
4. Chocolate cupcake, of course, with white (or maybe green) frosting.

Of my readers, Nicole W. was closest, with these answers: 1. Strawberry 2. Lemonade 3. Chicken noodle 4. Chocolate with whipped white frosting

Thanks for playing!

Description Game

I love the movie Alex & Emma.  Watching an author (however fictional) dictate his story to a stenographer who comments and critiques the whole time is highly entertaining.  I find that it holds some helpful little tidbits of advice for authors, as well.

For example, take one of my favorite comments from Emma (Alex’s response is in parentheses):

I hate it when they do that.  (Who? What?)  You.  Authors.  You use a name like John Shaw and I picture in my mind thin, with a stylish mustache, and then when you finally get around to describing him he’s this fat old fart with a hole in his teeth.

Needless to say, she convinces Alex to change the description of Shaw.  I keep this in mind when I’m introducing a new character or describing a scene, because it’s true.  If you wait too long to give a description, a reader may have already created one based on their own imagination.  When they get to your description, it might irritate them, or clash with their image.  And while it is sometimes worth it to wait to describe someone, and in some cases it’s helpful to encourage the reader to think the wrong thing, I also like to be kind to my readers when I can.

In the spirit of this, I want to play a little game.  I am going to describe some people enjoying food.  At the end I’m going to ask you a question about each food. Are you ready? Here we go.

1. She lifted the plump, glistening berry to her lips.  As she bit into it, sweet juices flooded her mouth.  She grinned and reached for another.

2. The liquid was refreshing as it rushed down his throat.  He took another mouthful and let the cold sweetness linger before he swallowed.  With a sigh of contentment he carefully set down his glass on a coaster.

3. As the steam rose, she inhaled and enjoyed the scent of the soup in front of her.  She dipped her spoon into the bowl and let the savory warmth pour across her tastebuds.  Reaching for a piece of bread, she held it into the soup and let it soak.

4. He grinned as he licked the sweet, creamy icing off of his fingers.  With one finger still coated, he dabbed the bottom of the cupcake paper to collect the last few crumbs.  One cupcake gone, he paused and then reached for a second.

Ready for your questions?  They are basically the same.

What kind of berry did she eat?  What is he drinking?  What type of soup is in the bowl?  What flavor was the cupcake, and what color was the icing?

We’ll see if everyone (or anyone!) has the same answer as what I was imagining when I wrote them.  🙂

A Game to Work the Brain (and Creativity!)

This weekend my best friend is here to visit.  We took a little road trip to see several of the zoos in the area, as well as a trek to the Mall of America in Minneapolis.  At the mall, we found a very fun store with brain games, and I discovered an amazing game.  It’s called The Storymatic, and I am SO excited about it.

(I have to admit, there is an outside chance that my mom, in her usual way, may have discovered this game, thought of me, and already has it waiting to be wrapped for a Christmas gift.  Mom, if that’s the case, you have my sincerest apologies.  I did think about this, but realized that the chance of that happening was low enough it was worth the risk.)

Oh, so you want to know about the game?  It has two sets of cards, gold and copper.  You draw 2 gold, which tell you about your main character, and one or two copper, which tell you things that need to be included in the story.  Once you draw the cards, there are only two rules.  You can’t kill off your character, and the main character has to change somehow during the story.

Need an example?  Here are the cards that I drew for this blog:
Gold – “Subject of a medical experiment” and “person with a devastating secret”
Copper – “if only what was said could be taken back” and “beauty contest”

I mean, how awesome is that?  The gold cards could overlap; maybe the secret is the experiment, is the reason for being part of the experiment, or perhaps the secret will cause problems with the experiment.  And a beauty contest adds even more fun layer possibilities to this story…

I am very excited to try this game.  It seems like it will make for great writing practice, not to mention it sounds like a lot of fun!