Fun With Words

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Facebook – General – and Chandler’s Ford Today

I share another lighthearted post on CFT this week called Fun With Words. Here are some fun word games to have a go at, all involving book titles (but you could easily adapt these games to film and song titles etc).

The games are very inspired by I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue and other radio shows but I do sometimes use things like this to wind down with if a writing session has been particularly intense.

Have fun! Have a laugh! Sometimes it is just great to be silly for a bit…!

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Very much a lighthearted day for me today which has been lovely. As well as my CFT post on word games, which was huge fun to write, I’ve just completed my movie education by finally getting around to watching The Blues Brothers in full. Loved it. (Had always seen snippets before and yes I know. I should have done this years ago but better late than never!).

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Well done, everybody, in my neck of the woods for the great support shown at 8 tonight (Thursday, 23rd April) for key workers. Lady came out with us tonight but was bemused by it all. 😊

I’m looking forward to sharing my CFT post tomorrow. I share some wonderfully silly word games based on books and give some examples. Hopefully they’ll raise a smile and the games can be adapted for use with song titles, film titles etc. The sillier the answers the better!

I sometimes use word games like this to help me wind down a bit if the old writing session has been intense, as it can be at times. Having a laugh with the language is good fun to do! It also makes a useful reminder that writing should be fun, it doesn’t always have to be deadly serious. The moment the joy goes out of writing for me will be the time for me to hang up my pen but I can’t see that happening. The world of stories is just a fabulous place to be, reading them, writing them or ideally doing both but it is important to have fun with it too.

There are some things which really are better now. Cut and pasting work is so much easier. When I was a mere lass, cut and pasting involved a pair of scissors and a Pritt stick.

For my secretarial career, I used everything from a manual typewriter to a 486 PC. (My mobile phone has almost certainly got more go in it now than that old 486). That was in the space of about 10 years too.

Neither do I miss carbon paper or having to change typewriter ribbons. I know there has been a resurgence of affection for the typewriter. I understand that. I loved my old Olympia. (You just didn’t want to drop it on your foot, else broken foot!). The typewriter was never the problem, it was all the stuff that came with it.

The past really is a different country. Best visit only I think. As for being able to submit work by email now… woo hoo! I used to spend ages in Post Office queues getting stories sent out. Much as I love the Post Office, I’ll save queuing there for when I need to send parcels out.

So why the nostalgia fest tonight? Partly because this period of reflection is making us reflect more and this has come out of that. Partly because I really am glad to see the back of the typewriter ribbon and the Pritt stick (especially with the amount of chopping and changing I do to my stories at times).

Oh on a lighter note. My CFT post this week will share some thoughts on word games for you to try. All very silly and good fun. Link up on Friday.

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Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again

My theme for tonight has been fun with words but playing around with the language is useful for all writers. Not only does it stretch your vocabulary (and knowledge of meanings), I think it strengthens your ability to write precisely. It really is a case of the mot juste!

For flash fiction writers, especially when we use humorous endings to a story, then knowledge of how puns work is crucial. And good fun to find out too so win-win!

 

I don’t often get story ideas when I’m out walking the dog. What I do get are interesting snippets that might become part of a flash tale later. These can vary from seeing a wonderful shade of red on a plant that might become the colour of my villain’s coat to hearing a noise I can’t quite place. I then work out what it could be and perhaps twist it to give it an other worldly feel for a story.

Sometimes I see a house I like the look of and wonder what kind of fictional characters could live there. What are they up to? What if they loathe the house and why would they do so?

Triggers for story ideas can come from all sorts of things. Over time I’ve learned to recognise these for what they are and then it’s a case of filtering so I use the strongest ideas only. Often it can be a case of combining two or three trigger thoughts and that’s when I’ll start getting ideas for a character. That’s when the story process really takes off for me.

But being observant and taking in little details to store away for future use is a good idea. You can have fun with it too.

I have a lovely book of inspirational quotes for writers on my desk, all of which are short pithy paragraphs. It was a freebie from Writing Magazine a while ago and every so often I dip into it.

I usually find something to remind me of what I am supposed to be doing (!) and some form of encouragement that generally I AM doing the right thing. It’s also a great source of comfort that whatever writing problem you’re facing right now, others have faced it before you and overcame it.

How do I know? Well one lovely quote describes the bowel clenching terror of a novelist writing their first draft… You can apply that equally to any writer getting their first draft of anything down. I know I always feel better once I’ve got something down that I can then knock into shape. I love editing and see it as THE key to good story writing. Nobody gets it right on the first go, ever.

One usual reminder that is handy for all flash fiction writers is to remember NOT to overwrite and to be economical with your descriptions. This is where the restricted word count of flash is a blessing as it kind of forces you into doing this.

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Fairytales with Bite – Fairytales and Animals

It is a peculiarly appropriate link with Fairytales with Bite tonight given animals have some kind of bite! But animals often play more than a walk-on part in fairytales.

I’ve always had a soft spot for talking animals in fiction and, naturally, fairytales play an important part in this. The animals are often wiser than the humans around them. (I’ve always liked the Puss In Boots character and even more so as he is portrayed in Shrek!).

I’ve written stories where the Three Bears are easily far nicer than Goldilocks (well, she is a vandal and porridge thief when all is said and done).

Animals can be used to represent character types too. In The Three Little Pigs, you find one sensible pig and two foolish ones. The latter should have listened to the former. How often have we wished we’d listened to good advice given by family and friends? It is a strong lesson put across in a simple story but even as a kid I remember thinking I would definitely go and live with the pig that made his house out of brick!

I would like to know what happened to the rats when the spell wore off in Cinderella. Did they remember any of their unusual experience? Or did they just know if any woman came near them waving a stick with a star on it, the best thing to do would be to run for the hills?!

The other reason I like talking animals is they can be used to show intelligence, wisdom etc are not just qualities reserved for humans. We don’t know it all. The animal kingdom would have good cause to rise up and moan at us all, would they not?

In fairytales, they can at least put their side of the story and show their best qualities. It makes a refreshing change for humans/humanoids not to be the the heroes or villains of the story. Finest achievement here is probably George Orwell’s Animal Farm. Animals in that book definitely do get a powerful message across!

This World and Others – World Differences

What are the main differences between your fictional world and what we know here? Why have you gone for these? If, for you, the most important thing about your fictional world is there is no violence on it whatsoever, then your characters are going to have to find other, far more imaginative and interesting ways to resolve disputes. And there will be disputes. There is no story without conflict after all.

Also think in times of physical geography. What does your created world have that we don’t? What ideas from Earth have you put into your fiction? Water will have to come into it somewhere, given life is not possible without it, so how is that controlled? Does your world have enough water or is its chief problem is that it has too much of it?

When it comes to focusing on a particular place in your world, work out what it is about this place that makes it worth being singled out to write about! The Lord of the Rings brings The Shire into it because we need to know where the hobbits come from. We also need to know about Mordor and all that it signifies. So what does a reader need to know about the setting you’re putting before us?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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