Why Speed Scrabble is good for writers...
I visit the classroom
and play "literacy sort" with six and seven year-olds.
We cut words from paper
and shuffle them around
to find out how they are similar or different.
Most of the kids are okay with this sorting game,
but one of my new friends
He wants his little word scraps to stay in one place,
straight as soldiers, unsullied by battle.
As a writer enamored with my first drafts, I sympathize.
It's painful to step back from your work.
A good pair of pruning shears can help.
Or a few rounds of Speed Scrabble.
It's great for practicing revisions:
Learning to improvise,
your heart out,
and start again.
How do you step back from your work?
Are you open to change?
Do you improvise?
To fuel my Scrabble fire,
we made alphabet rock magnets,
inspired by this.
Magnets and Glue.
Let the refrigerator games begin!
A Speed Scrabble how-to for novices:
Speed Scrabble is like "miracle-gro" for writers in revision.
The idea is that you play sans game board, creating a personal network of connecting words with your first handful of letter tiles.
Every time you draw a new letter, you scramble your previous words to make room for it.
Even if you adore that you made "quixotic," you are willing to sacrifice it to make a new bundle of connecting words. You're done when you can't figure out where to go next, or you've used up all of the tiles. It can be played alone or in competition, depending on your personality.
Don't you feel your improvising juices sloshing around already?