First: Pick 10 words at random from a dictionary or thesaurus. Originally, I was too lazy to get up and get my dictionary, but the only tool I could find on line was something I had to download… so after a bit of lazy searching I dragged myself to the bookshelf and dusted off my lonely, heavy dictionary. Below are my 10 words… Yikes!
Level 1: In 5 minutes, create at least three novel titles using only the words on your list (I took the liberty of using alternate forms of the words, and adding articles or prepositions when necessary).
Ephemeral Pangs of Acquiescence
How to Interpret the Small-Minded
Level 2: Create a story premise for the titles you've created from your list.
Ephemeral Pangs of Acquiescence: Always the fierce and unforgiving dictator, Gemini Sandstone was troubled by recent urges to undermine her father’s legacy with a kinder, gentler sort of leadership. Was she softening with age? Or was her new, mysterious lover spiking her cocktails? (oops, does this or does this not demand to be a dirty book?)
The Rope-Dancer: A new age circus comes to town, inspiring local activists to stage boisterous protests over animal rights violations. When their leader starts to fall for the star of the rope-dancing act, however, he discovers a far more egregious crime and finds himself as the next target.
How to Interpret the Small-Minded: Jill Rubin’s self-improvement books were wildly popular, landing her a regular place on hit talk shows around the dial. Unfortunately, her philosophy fell short for one famous politician, who is rising from the ashes of his ruined career in a crusade to destroy hers.
Level 3: Write an opening line for the title/story premises you've created – 30 minutes (admittedly, I couldn’t stop at one line)
Ephemeral Pangs of Acquiescence: Gemini had never before used the words, “Let it be so,” in judgment of a defendant. As she watched the effect these words had on the raisin-skinned woman hunched before her, Gemini found it impossible to overcome her own astonishment and fulfill her immediate instinct to retract the decision. Instead, all she could manage was a terse nod of dismissal to the room in general, so that she could be alone with her thoughts.
The Rope-Dancer: Adam struggled to keep his balance as Jenny positioned her not-quite-petite body atop his back, wondering whether this imitation of the Next Century Circus horse and rider act was actually discouraging would-be circus goers from participating in animal cruelty or if it was simply starting the entertainment spectacle 100 feet from the circus entrance.
How to Interpret the Small-Minded: Blinded by the stage lights, Jill Rubin walked to her center stage seat, uncomfortably aware that this interview would be unlike the hundreds of others she had given in the past three years.
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. Added to my To Do list.
Level 5: Write the stories to go with all of them, and you win Dictionary: Impossible. We’ll see!
This was fun! Now I have at least two stories in the queue that I really want to get started on... just have to pick one and forge ahead!