Have you ever made up a word game? I did. Just the other day in fact, I made a list of ten nouns, but you can use any number of them. Set that list aside and write up another list of the same length, but of verbs. Then make a list of adjectives, again with the same number of items. Then, match the words, by their position in the list, numbered lists work well for this, and make a sentence. You can expand on the idea by writing additional lists of adverbs and secondary nouns.
That’s a good game to teach you how to create a sentence with those word classes, nouns, verbs, adverbs and adjective. When I played my new game, I got a couple of sentences that sounded good, or at least funny, ‘snow glowing red’, ‘wind thinking tall’, and ‘candlelight walking stupid’. You can get some nice imagery there that could spark your imagination and get you writing. You might not get anything exciting out of it, but you should get something.
You can ask questions of the sentences. Why is the snow glowing red? Is there a Christmas light underneath it? Or perhaps it’s reflecting a car tail light or stop light. Who knows? What would it be like for wind to think tall? Perhaps it’s a storm or just a wild gust of wind dancing away with someone’s hat. Candlelight walking stupid could be a drunken person carrying a candle. Wordplay can be fun. You never know where it will take you.
My point is that a good form of brainstorming is to do a game like that one, or Mad Libs®, if you can find it. I know, it’s not a new game that I created; it’s just a simple game that you can play alone or in a group, with each person creating a list of their own. Then you put the words together you can have some fun sentences.
In a variation of the game, pick a random number and pull the word from the appropriate list and put them together into a randomly generated sentence. I had fun creating my list, using the lookup feature in Excel. Of course you can use any kind of spreadsheet or even just a piece of paper and a pencil to play this game.
All I did was add some easy to remember rules. A list of nouns, a list of verbs, a list of adjectives which, if arranged correctly will make sentences. You can use this idea to create simple sentences or more complex ones, depending on your lists and how you arrange them. That’s where the spreadsheet comes in handy. You have the spreadsheet lookup values on a worksheet and build your sentence that way.
If you like, you can write shorter lists and use a dice to determine the sentence, rolling the dice for each list. roll the dice, total the number if you have more than one die, but keep in mind that if you have two dice, you might not be able toe select the first item on your list — adjust the numbers accordingly. Then take the word from the list that corresponds to that number. Do that for each list and build your sentence.
You could even build a paragraph in a like manner, just keep rolling the dice and choosing your words. You will probably get nonsense, but nonsense can be fun.
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