Wondering what to write? Where to start? Looking for inspiration?
Here’s something simple you might like, and all you need is a scrabble set. You know those game rules, don’t you? Shake the scrabble letter bag, take out seven tiles. What have you got? Rubbish letters?
Let me make the first move. Hmmm, I’ve got a rack full of vowels, so I’m going to scream in Bacchic frenzy, and play EUOI.
Euoi is a useful word to know if you play the game regularly. It allows you to make room for fresh tiles without having to lose a turn.
For writers, it’s an equally useful story starting point.
Bacchus was the Roman incarnation of Dionysus. That much I know without looking him up. What else? He’s connected to wine, taken in excess. There have been cults that worshipped him at various points, both before and after Christianity came to the fore, usually as an excuse for outrageous behaviour.
His cults can be found in supernatural and realist stories, historical and contemporary. There’s a lot you could research, but don’t do that now. The point of this exercise isn’t to think, it’s to write.
That’s not enough to start a story? Fine, it’s your turn to play: create a name. What do you mean, no names in scrabble? This is scrabble for writers, we adapt the rules to suit our need, don’t we?
So, what names do your letters make? Notice I used plural there? I’m going to miss my turn, because I think two characters would be useful.
Now you’ve got someone to react to that Bacchanalian outburst, and you’ve given yourself more choice when it comes to deciding on point-of-view.
My turn, and just to make things interesting I’m going to play two words that you have to include in your story. I’m putting WAX across the triple word score, because you’ve left that wide open. Then, because I’m generous, I’m giving you WOOD on the down line.
On the board, besides all of the ways you can interpret the word WOOD, there are a surprisingly large number of words you can put with it. Add one of those, and you could reach another triple-word score. Story-wise, I think I’ve been generous too, WOOD is such a flexible word for the literal and the lateral interpreters.
That should be enough pointers. The point of this exercise isn’t to give you an easy run, it’s meant to be a challenge. But I like to be generous, so if you’re really stuck, top up your rack and make another word to be included in the situation (always remembering that old adage about what to do if you’re in a hole, of course – stop digging).
Now do the same with procrastinating. Start with that Bacchanalian cry of impassioned rapture and get writing.