Sunday, February 11, 2007

Dictionary: Impossible

Let's play Dictionary: Impossible.

Writers, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to take out your dictionary and flip through it, then stop on any page at random. Write down the first word you see. Repeat until you have a list of ten words.


Level 1: Create at least three novel titles using only the words on your list (a, an, the, and other simple words can be added for style.) You have five minutes to complete this level.

Borough Cemetery
An Underproof Cocktail
The Nag
Excessive Nonage
Steamroller Subculture

Level 2: Create a story premise for the titles you've created from your list. If you get caught on this level, PBW will disavow any knowledge of you.

Borough Cemetery: Citizens of a fortified medieval city discover the victims of a strange plague won't stay in their graves.

An Underproof Cocktail: Farmer Bubba's miracle cherries were supposed to soak up the alcohol from the youngsters' drinks, not turn the teens into killer zombies.

The Nag: She knew he loved her; all he needed was a little half-hourly reminder to show it.

Excessive Nonage: How many times could one demi-goddess cheerleader turn sweet sixteen?

Steamroller Subculture: Homeboy heavy equipment operators battle a demon road crew paving the way to hell.

Level 3: Write an opening line for the title/story premises you've created. Should you decide to continue on with the mission, you have exactly thirty minutes to complete this level.

Borough Cemetery

The Baron would have blamed it all on the gravediggers, but theirs were the first bodies left in pieces outside the city's gates.

An Underproof Cocktail

Seein' pictures of that college fella usin' clay teabags to soak up poison outta bad drinkin' water were what gave me the original idear.

The Nag

She'd left him her phone number, written on his bathroom mirror in red lipstick along with a kiss-print and CALL ME LATER.

Excessive Nonage

"Diana Hunter made the squad?" Heather, who had not, turned purple under her crystal rose blush. "She only moved to town like two minutes ago."

Steamroller Subculture

Bodeen climbed down from the barricade truck and walked over to inspect the surveyor's mangled, bloodstained tripod. "Somebody let Julio back up the dozer again?"

Level 4: Write the story to go with one of your opening lines, premises and titles. You may take as much time as you need, but remember that any idea may self-destruct in as little as ten seconds.

Level 5: Write the stories to go with all of them, and you win Dictionary: Impossible.


  1. Anonymous8:31 AM

    Steamroller Subculture. Yeah, I think I'm in that story. Would you mind reducing my part to bit player? I'd like to be the lady at the end of the street; the one everyone thinks is strange but harmless. I don't mind if you mention the part about the eery glow around my house at night, but I need some down time from being the antagonist. Good hair would be nice too--if you don't mind throwing that into my profile.

    Karen, the lurker

  2. Should cure any case of writers block in the burrough of nonage, underproof coacktail writers in this excessive cemetery subculture.
    Thank you for how you impute, nag and steamroller to and over us.

  3. I SO love this "writers block" cure/game. Can I steal it and put it on my blog? Can I, can I? Huh, huh? I promise to give you full credit!

  4. Anonymous10:40 AM

    Borough Cemetery

    The Baron would have blamed it all on the gravediggers, but theirs were the first bodies left in pieces outside the city's gates.

    I want to read this one.

    I might try taking you up on this... on a day NOT today. I can't accomplish anything in five minutes when I have a baby trying to take the dictionary, keyboard, coffee and everything else out of my hands. ;)

  5. Fabulous!!!!! I've made a link from my blog to this.

    Thank you!

  6. My words, titles, and stories.


    1. Numerous Contradictions: A Make Your Own Adventure story where you wake up one day and discover that the entire world disagrees with you on everything and anything. No matter what. You’re just wrong. Every page choice results in your death.

    2. Crushing Horizon: That sunset seems to be getting closer everyday…but it must be some kind of atmospheric optical illusion. If that’s the case, though, why are all the sunrises starting to get so unbearably hot?

    3. Marrying Somewhere: Susie was supposed to be getting married today. But after a freak accident with the coffee maker and a semi truck that barreled through her living room at exactly 4:14 AM, she can’t quite remember where she’s getting married, or even who it’s to. But that truck driver is looking awfully handsome.

    4. Obvious Items: Turns out that household items such as silverware, kitchen appliances and doormats are in fact intelligent, extraterrestrial species that have been quietly invading the planet until they are ready to strike. That happens to be tomorrow morning, by the by. Enjoy your breakfast, human slaves.

    5. Impair Forgiveness: Two men and their trained demon-flea circus decide to go on a mission to block God’s forgiveness from reaching humanity for the rest of eternity.

  7. You missed one.
    Cemetary Subculture- You'll never look at Underground Poets in quite the same way.

  8. Anonymous8:01 PM

    I tried to link to my blog, but it's not at this site. Sometimes I can do the technical stuff soemtimes I can't! But I did post a link on MY blog to come here!!

    Thanks!!!!! HUGSS!!

  9. Anonymous2:27 PM

    That sounds like fun! I must remember to do it when I'm back at home...

  10. This sounds like fun!! I'll save it for summer -- when my so-called creativity isn't swallowed by lesson plans.

  11. Anonymous3:48 AM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  12. A few of my premises:

    A Lack of Burden- Max always wanted a break from his hectic life, but being the only survivor of the asteroid that destroys Earth was NOT what he had in mind.

    Gleam of the Hammer- Julia's obsession with building is put to the ultimate test during the National Builders' Association's Annual Competition.

    An Ordinary Gnome- Trina is tired of her life as an ordinary gnome, but when she follows a couple of humans and is discovered, she realizes that she's actually quite extraordinary.

    In the Bunker- Sally will go to any lengths to get past this obstacle at the golf course. Emphasis on ANY.

    Yes, they're a little stupid. :)

    This game is so much fun, and so helpful! I'll never run out of ideas!


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