The blog has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 6 seconds. If not, visit
http://iggiandgabi.com
and update your bookmarks.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Words, Glorious Words!

All writers--whether they write lofty literary fiction or spunky sparkly vampire stories--have one thing in common: an intrinsic love of words.  We can't get enough of words.  We're like Oliver, lifting up his bowl and saying: "Please, sir, I'd like some more."

Today's post is about glorious words that enrich our love of language.  One tool I've developed that helps me rekindle my love of words is the Word Box. 

The concept is simple, really; you just cut up a sheet of paper into lots of little slips and write a random word on each slip.  They can be words you love or hate, words that sound funny or that are fun to say aloud.  The point is that the words be random.  Once you're done, put your word slips in a container (an envelope, bag, small box.  The only requirement is that it should be easy for you to reach in and pull out a few words at random.

How to Use the Word Box: Pull out 3-7 words at random.  Write for 15 minutes and use all the words.  Note: No fair using a random word in a way that doesn't make sense or feels forced.  All the words have to feel like they belong in the piece.   Tips: (1) Start with with 3 words and work your way up to 7 with practice.  (2) Keep adding new words to your Word Box over time, to keep things fresh.

Homework: Start a Word Box of your own.  With a little help from friends, the task of finding random words can be easy.  Share some of your own word finds in the comments and borrow suggestions from each other!

Here are 20 words from my Word Box to get you started:

galaxy, gamble, fissure, scamper, flutter, flash, troll, manipulate, secret, nefarious, snarl, flinch, croak, glitz, arabesque, pirate, swirl, windswept, totem, no.

A note about DIY MFA Chat today, (5pm ET) I know it's Easter so I wasn't sure if any of you were still up for a chat.  Please tweet or comment if you're still up for chatting and I'll be there.  If enough people respond saying "yes I'll be there" then we'll proceed as always.  Watch the #diymfa thread for a twitter update on the status of the chat.  I'll a couple of hours before and let you all know if the chat's still on or if we're taking the holiday off.  Sound good?

2 comments:

MissM said...

I'm not doing anything for Easter but I probably won't be around.

Kerryn Angell said...

Love the word exercise. There was a short story competition I wrote a piece for called the Search Term Challenge where the owners of the website picked out eight random search terms people had used to get to their site and you had to write a story including at least four terms. You could do the same by randomly selecting words from the dictionary.

Another way I've used random words is to pick ten words from the dictionary and combine them to make titles for stories. Then you write the story to match the title.

It's great fun and I love learning new words or new meanings for words.

Related Posts with Thumbnails