Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Word Play

On the way home from dd's Irish dance class night we played a new game. I gave her five or six words and she had to create a story from this. DD is a great story teller - far better than her mother so I wasn't actually trying to work on her story telling ability but on her vocabulary. So in those five or six words I would through in a few that she would have heard before but not necessarily known their meaning - tricky aren't. So before the story could begin we would dicuss these words. For example:

Subscribe, top-hat, gremlin, advertise, and idiot ( I was driving in Dubai and that last word is never far from my lips)

So I had to define subscribe totally and advertise partially before she created and interesting tale of the of the top hatted gremlin who subscribed to the Gulf News because he likes the ads or something like that. Heck it killed a boring journey quite effectively.

I found this word game a bit like the creative process for me - although it's not words but random ideas that are pulled together and bounce around in my chaotic mind until 'ping' the connections start happening. Some times the process is quick (as this summer at the RNA Conference during Sue Moorcroft's character workshop) and other times it's month or longer before these very separate threads knit together.

Over on Steve Malley's blog he has a good post on this but he calls it groping for fishhooks (warning on of his illustrations - picture variety) gave me the willies but he describes the process very well.

Progress report - I made slow progress on revision - just five new pages. Why so slow you ask? Because I spent a long time in my room reading aloud the work and boy did that throw up a bunch more revisions on the first few chapters. I hate reading my own work aloud - very self concious am I - but I found it easier in my own space. Funny that.......

11 comments:

JJ said...

That's a great game. I'm stealing that one. Slow is better than none. Yesterday I made none. Today I am writing articles. One I have finished, the second I am working on. Phew; writing again.
JJx

KAREN CLARKE said...

That is a good game. Shame mine refuse to play along (I think they think they're too old now!)

If I read my work aloud, I have to do it a different accent so it sounds like someone else is reading it. Crazy? Moi? Probably :)

liz fenwick said...

Oh, JJ please do steal it - it's a good laugh :-)

How old are yours - dd is eight. Haven't tried it on my teans but on a long car journey I might.

Trying to remember to keep the accent going might distract me from the words I have chosen. i remember reading somewhere about a program you can plug your text into and it reads it a mono tone which highlights your pitfalls pretty quickly. Must try and find it ..........might have been on Cally's blog :-)

B.E. Sanderson said...

Sounds like a great game, Liz. I'd borrow it myself, but on long car rides with my DD, I can never get a word in edgewise. ;o) (Actually we both do our fair share of talking.)

I only read my work aloud when I'm having problems that I can't seem to fix. It really does help. Don't worry so much about being silly, though. I talk to myself in public, and I only get a few odd stares. ;o)

Kate.Kingsley said...

If I email some words over could your daughter come up with a plot for me?

Sound like a fab game ~ I too will be stealing it, for boring car journeys with the hubby.

liz fenwick said...

Thanks B.E. old habits of feeling silly die hard although I do talk to myself all the time - that seems different- mayeb because I am not judging the word choice! Enjoy your car chatter, I do love it with dd and the singing badly at the top of our lungs when the boys can't hear:-)

Fire those words to her Kate and she'll string one hell of a plot but it might not be for the right age group :-) It is a great game for the car though. Becareful what words you give your husbands.....their mind tend to wander and driving could be in danger but that is another story!

CindyLV said...

Hi Liz,

I miss so many mistakes if I don't read my words out loud. One tech writing job (15 or so years ago) required us to do a "two-man read" for every document produced. At the time, I thought it was sheer torture.

Now I read to my cats. If they don't like what I've written, they run and hide under the bed. Now that's some feedback I can use. I learned not to waste time reading to my German Shepherd. She'd sit and listen attentively to me droning on from the owner's manual for my coffeemaker and that would just reinforce my false sense of superiority.

I liked the word play game. I love it when those little connections spark in your brain at the most unexpected times!

CindyLV

liz fenwick said...

Cindy i hadn't thought of reading to my cat. He's normally curled up aslepp on my desk or my computer if he can get away with it!

Lucy Diamond said...

Reading aloud is the best way to spot wonky dialogue or over-long sentences! But yes, I know what you mean about the self-consciousness, I always shut the door and mumble the words to myself!

Debs said...

Great word game, Liz. I read aloud to the dog who generally looks around to see who else should be there and occasionally barks. It's amazing how different a piece can sound when read out loud as opposed to in your head.

liz fenwick said...

Yes, Lucy mubbling helps doesn't it!

Debs my cat doesn't seem to notice when I do it...but tha's cats for you :-)