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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Inspiration/Block (for the writer) (05/20/10)

TITLE: Scrabble Stories
By Lynn Radford


Recently, a large social network has afforded me the opportunity to play Scrabble like I never have before. Although I love the game, I previously lacked opponents with whom to play. Now, I play with people Iíve never met, along with friends and family from across the globe. I often have several games going at once and take numerous turns in a sitting. As such, Scrabble has taken something close to center stage in my daily routine. Playing my turns is as common to me as checking my email. This may explain why I turn to it to free me from writerís block.

A self-proclaimed logophile, I delight in using my current play in a sentence, preferably a pun on words. I have been in the habit of doing this since I first played Scrabble. It was a throwback to my spelling bee days, I think. It often annoys my opponents, but I do it anyway, with joyful abandon.

That is why it embarrasses me to admit that it took months before I could see the potential of the gold mine spread out before me. It happened one rainy afternoon in the middle of one of the driest spells my writing had experienced in years. I was searching for a play, studying the board, shuffling my tiles around and the words began to tell a story. I grabbed a pen and jotted them down. An hour later, I had a decent flash fiction draft. Since then, I have routinely challenged myself to use all of the words created in a given game to write a story or a poem. I do this when I am blocked and unable to think of what to write about, I do it when Iím stuck, and sometimes, I do it just for kicks.

Imagine! All those letter tiles spill forth to form a plethora of words; big words, small words, common words and unique words. One is limited only by the tiles on his or her rack. The possibilities are endless! No two games are ever the same, presenting a new challenge with every game played. The mission, if you choose to accept it, is to skillfully blend those words into a tight knit tapestry. Why not try your hand at a Scrabble Story the next time you are blocked?

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Member Comments
Member Date
Judy Wood05/27/10
Sounds like a unique way to help you with writer's block and come up with a great story. I'd like to read one of your scrabble stories. I don't think I'd want to go up against you in scrabble though.
Jan Ackerson 05/27/10
Ooooh! I love Scrabble too, and I play it on FB all the time! In fact, I've even organized two Facebook/FaithWriters Scrabble tournaments; there are a few dozen Scrabblers from FW there. Once these entries are judged and we can put a name to this one, feel free to add me--I'd love to play you! I'm Jan Worgul Ackerson on Facebook.
Charla Diehl 05/27/10
What an interesting concept to rid one of writer's block. I've been playing scrabble since I was a child--not a lot on TV back then. Not only was this on topic, but you've shared a nice tip with your readers. Even crossword puzzles will have more meaning now.
AnneRene' Capp05/30/10
What a great idea using scrabble words to propel a story! I felt a kindred connection to you on a couple of your entertaining phrases, such as:It often annoys my opponents, but I do it anyway, with joyful abandon.I am still smiling about that one! :)
Amanda Brogan05/31/10
Sounds like fun! I used to love making stories out of spelling words. I did that recently when giving a spelling test to my neice. I would make up a goofy sentence and she'd have to guess what the spelling word was. I ended up with a story about a bird that was dreaming and got seed stuck in his throat. . . or something like that. We both had fun. (And the bird was okay in the end.) ;)