This exercise developed one Wednesday night when neither of us (Christine and Esther) felt very inspired to write. But it was Wednesday, so the show must go on! We began by writing down 10 words - the first random words that came into our heads. They were random indeed, which turned out to be perfect. What to do with them? In a moment of telepathy, we decided to write poems using the 10 words. They ended up being totally unexpected but amazing in their own right. (For Christine's resulting poem, click here.)
The problem was, now that we knew we were going to write a poem, thinking of 10 truly random words - without taking into account what they would be used for - was impossible. So we rectified the situation with an introduction of the "Grab Bag."
In the Grab Bag, we have written down on paper a variety of writing genres. They can be anything, but right now ours include: Poem, short story (fiction), horror story, a 4-panel story board, an advertisement, a love letter, a break-up letter, an apology letter, a twitter status (144-character max), a "how to" guide, a children's book story, a legal document or citation, and a rap.
Once you have your 10 words, grab a paper from the Grab Bag, and that is what you will be using them to write. This is a great activity to use at the start of a creative session to get juices going or just among friends - the results of ours have been highly entertaining so far! For some examples, click the links below.
4-Panel Comic (Christine)
Legal Citation (Esther)
How-To Guide (Esther)