We may call it Writer’s Block or by any other name. I noticed while teaching my students that they were moving along just one track. The group of 18-19 year old girls seldom strayed from the path of love stories. Most were getting stuck in a rut.
To infuse fresh enthusiasm I introduced them to the Double Trouble Game which I had come across on my blogging friend Australian Writer Sheryl Gwyther’s blog long time back. Sheryl generously allowed me to share this creative game not just with my students but with everyone. I would like to share the game with everyone.
In this game we have to pick two nouns from a list of unlikely 'room-mates' - naming words that do not go together.
You get the idea? Now imagine the combination of two (Frog and Guitar) and ask yourself What if ? Or you can think of unusual situations consisting of a frog and a guitar.
Like: What if a frog loved the guitar? What if the frog lived inside a guitar? Or what if a frog liked to play a guitar to serenade his girlfriend? What happens when the frog is rejected by other frogs because of his love for guitars?
How will our Frog ( my frog is called Freddy Strings) cope with this rejection from other frogs? Can he live away from the frog community? What is he going to do? Would he stop playing the guitar? Would he stop living inside the guitar and move to another place? Short stories can be built on these unlikely room mates.
My brief to my students was “ Go wild. Have fun. Let nothing hold you back.” And fun they had. I got such unlikely roommates (Cindrella- McDonald, Dog-Rose, Icecream-Sun, Plant-Coke, A popular Actress-Chocolate, Ant-Skateboard ). The stories built around these strange roomies were wild, wacky and weird. But it did let loose their creativity.
I think this is a wonderful way to create unusual situations in our manuscripts. We can take two unlikely room mates ( elements from our WIP) and come up with something unusual. Maybe we can arrive at an unexpected and unusual plot twist. Who knows which direction our imagination will lead us to?
What do you think of the Double Trouble Game? It would be great if you share two unlikely room mates with us. What is their unusual problem/situation? Don’t you think this can be a wonderful source of inspiration not just for picture book writers, but for all of us?
P.S: My unlikely room mates were the frog and guitar.