So. I am in theory writing a novel, though it's somewhat stalled right now, but it's not the novel I'm thinking about tonight.
I'm thinking about how one of my kill-time activities (and calm-down activities) is doing codewords. They're also known as code-breaker puzzles, and they're the kind that's shaped like a crossword, but instead of clues, there's a number in each square. The puzzle is to crack the code by figuring out which letter is represented by each number. Fill in the correct letter in every square, and you complete the codeword. You're left with a grid full of words, just like a completed crossword.
The part that interested me tonight was the part where you're left with a grid full of words at the end. See, in a crossword, you're trying to figure out the words on a semantic level. In a codeword, you're trying to figure out the words on a purely structural level - which words fit into this hole? And it means that the words themselves, when you get them, feel to me somewhat more surprising, because you never had any clues to what they might mean.
How does this relate to writing?
I completed a codeword earlier tonight, and afterwards I was looking at the grid and thinking, and I remembered that writing exercise where you have to write a story including certain words. And I wondered what it might be like to write a story based on the words in my codeword.
I haven't done it yet, but since I completed a second puzzle tonight, I thought I'd share the words, and maybe some thoughts on what kind of story the words might generate.
Puzzle 1: chubby, jejune, image, maze, leg, snap, awry, diary, alert, accepts, safes, tells, expunge, piled, toque, vole, boys, win, gunk, notch, trendy, tetchy, clematis, pub, over, mercifully, boa, swan, eased, yield, tinny, cascade, unquote, pin, jelly, eight, aster, jogs, nit, needlework, nova, pot, severely( Musings on these prompts )
Puzzle 2: animal, baroque, unify, boom, togs, eked, prize, sail, blue, icing, vows, junk, city, isle, ibex, cold, stun, goat, earth, grew, oxen, gnaws, tier, warn, upon, alder, revert, faking, adverb, grocer, lasso, beau, anew, mood, eject, name, lump, ingle, gnat, rick, damn, mini, aide, zinc, stow, byte, girth, surf, rags, vying, took, sago, rein, where, exiled, wiring( Thoughts on these prompts )
I think I like this idea.
Feel free to share where you might take these prompts if you feel like it! And if you do write something of your own based on these prompts, I'd love to read it!