News: Writing Lessons From Wedding Showers

2012-08-12 00:03:AM ago by nicole.boyce

What does finger food have to do with fiction? Not much, but I threw a bridal shower this weekend and felt inspired to repurpose some of the games. If you’re feeling inspired (or bombarded) by the season of vows and veils, try out the exercises below:
Two Truths and a Lie – A classic icebreaker, Two Truths and a Lie is designed to challenge shower guests’ knowledge of the happy couple. To use this concept in your writing, play Two Truths and a Lie for your characters. Start with the more obvious facts (those you’ve already established or plan to establish), then get creative with the lies. For each fib, ask yourself: is that currently true about my character? Could that be true about my character? Would my character be more compelling if that were true? Take this example:
Sarah is a schoolteacher.
Sarah has brown hair.
Sarah carries a Super Soaker full of pancake batter.
Bam! You just turned a humdrum short story into an innovative action comic.
The String Game – In this game, each guest picks a string from a box. Each string is a different length. The guests then wrap the strings around their fingers and take turns unraveling them. As each person unravels their string, they must list off interesting facts about themselves. Put this game to work by keeping a box of string in your office. Each morning, draw out a piece and wrap it around your finger. The number of seconds it takes you to unwrap it is the number of twenty-minute intervals you’ll write for that day.
Team Vows – To save the couple the burden of creativity, each shower guest writes out syrupy sentiments to be used in the wedding vows. In your version, invite some friends over and make them write your story. Give each person a series of tasks (character names, conflicts, unpredictable endings) and shuffle the suggestions. Mix and match to create a commitment-worthy project.
Toilet Paper Dress – I’m not sure much good will come from draping your iPad with toilet paper, but there’s some value here, if only for a change of pace. Writing is about taking risks, and nothing says ‘dangerous creativity’ like a laptop covered in Charmin.

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