Twice a month a member of my writing group comes up with a sentence, piece of dialogue, phrase, or concept and challenges us to use it to create a short story, poem, or opening chapter to a book in any genre.
It’s a fun way to push ourselves and stretch our writing talents. It’s also a fun way to give ourselves permission to try out genres that we might otherwise shy away from. For instance, I primarily write fantasy and paranormal books, but I love to read mysteries and thrillers. This little game gives me a chance to try writing the opening for a mystery, thriller, western, or any other type of book without the pressure. After all, it’s a game…it’s all in fun. And if it happens to lead to another book or a publishable short story, then all the better.
What I also love about this game is how many ideas can spring from a simple sentence, phrase, or piece of dialogue. We each get about a week to come up with an idea and rough it out before presenting our results to the group. Some writers may have a single idea; others, two or three ideas; and still others, may come up blank. It’s okay, though, because it’s not a contest, just a helpful exercise to get your brain thinking in different ways.
“I’m gonna count to 3, and then I start shooting!”
That was the prompt for the game we got at our last meeting. What can you come up with using that? What story or images does that bit of dialogue spark in your mind?
In a couple of days I will present three of the results based on this bit of dialogue. In the meantime, see what you can come up with, and feel free to post them as part of the comments, or on your own blog…
I always love to see what ideas people can find in something so simple as the sentence above.