Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wednesday Wordplay

I find driving cathartic. I do a lot of troubleshooting behind the wheel. Something about the open road and the repetition allows my mind to wander a little, explore territory I either hadn't considered or revisit something that's been bothering me for a while.

Plot twists for a story suddenly appear. Problems are mysteriously solved. The what-nots of a character's personality or a sudden insight into their personal history burst forth with an ah-ha! that leaves me wondering why the heck I didn't realize that earlier. A kind of palm to forehead kind of moment, you know?

And call me crazy, but I have full on conversations with myself while the cruise control is up and running.  Some of the best dialogue in my books comes from those talk-to-myself sessions.

But while driving the ten hours to spend time with my family this past week (there and back with a truck full of little kids. . .any wonder I needed a distraction?), I started a new tradition. . .added a fun twist to my driving repertoire.

It's a game I like to call Wordplay.

So, here's how it works.  Pick a word--any word--then come up with a different word for each letter. . .like this. . .


I - ideas
M - magic
A - artistry
G - gutsy
I - ingenuity
N - novel
A - analyze
T - tenacity
I - integrity
O - originality
N - know-how (okay, I cheated on this one!)

So, now you know how I distracted myself on a ten hour trip.  Necessity is, after all, the mother of invention.


  1. I am a kindred spirit. I, too, do a lot of dialogue, plot untwisting, and what not behind the wheel. As a rare blood courier, I spend a lot of time behind the wheel so I just naturally think of my novels in progress. I usually work on two at the same time. When I bog down in one, I turn to the other. Thanks for the comment on my blog, Roland

  2. Wow....a rare blood courier? That's so cool!

  3. Sometimes when driving I'll work on a plot point but so far have been able to avoid dialogue

  4. Oh, no....don't avoid dialogue. Characters say the best things when you're talking to them! lol.

  5. I love to drive and think about my books. It really does kick things lose, plus sometimes I'll see a sign, or a house, or flowers--all kinds of different things that spark an idea. I probably can't meander as much now that the gas prices are so high. LOL But I really do consider it part of my writing routine. :)


  6. I get the majority of my ideas while I am in motion and finally got a voice recorder to help me when I can't possible jot down my ideas.

  7. It's funny, I don't drive much these days (and when I do I have my 2 chatterboxes in the car) and I'm really missing that "alone" time. Can't help but think about how my MS is suffering :(

    LOL, sounds like a cool word game, might have to teach my 3 and a half year old ;)