November 7th, 2012 / 11:43 am
Craft Notes

Writing Game #1: “25, Strange as You Can”

I like making up writing games.

Let’s start with a simple one: Write the strangest, grammatically correct 25-word-long sentence that you can.

If you want an additional challenge or jumping-off point, you can specify that one or more words must be included.

Using this random word generator, I came up with the word “abbeys.” So let’s try writing a few strange 25-word-long sentences with that word:

  1. Sobbingly flee nuns like you would a rabid anteater if you must, bro, but me, I’ve always saddled right up to gals who enter abbeys.
  2. I can’t believe the post-postmodern bullshit perpetuated about how lame horses when let loose will trot down shit-ridden alleys in whinnying search of lost abbeys.
  3. Tin-foil abbeys, to any king’s dismay, can’t wash cankered hands or create long smearing sparks the way I once saw beautifully heartbroken Neptunian skywriters do.

25 words is a good length, I think. It’s long enough to lie outside conventional parlance, but short enough that you can easily overshoot, then have to trim back. (I often find myself writing 26–30 word sentences, then needing to cut them down.)

A few techniques I’ve tended toward:

  1. I write a short, simple starting sentence, then replace words and add other words and phrases to it. (That’s how I wrote sentence 1.)
  2. I type very rapidly, without time to really think, bashing out any words that come to mind. (That’s how I wrote sentence 2.)
  3. I write very slowly, one word at a time, picking each new word to offset the previous ones. (That’s how I wrote sentence 3.)

I think each sentence above retains some trace of its method of generation.

As for what I mean by “strange”? That’s obviously more subjective, and deliberately open-ended. I find exploring that part of the fun of the game.

Due to that subjectivity, I consider this less a competitive game than a collaborative one. Give it a whirl at your next party? And share your own examples in the comments?

Furthermore, note the tag “writing games” (below), which’ll catalog future installments, which will—rest assured—follow this one as surely as nuns follow an abbess.


Here’s three more I wrote by means of flipping around in the dictionary:

  1. My Belarussian nemesis drew with great sensitivity a painted bunting doing an end run around a vermillion hydra guarding a trove of homemade kosher caramel.
  2. His barfing up large chunks of half-digested squid tacos marred not only the Hardcastles’s vestibule’s Buddha figurine, but an otherwise pleasantly genteel charity coffee klatch.
  3. Horsing around Scottsdale’s genealogy museum, I ceased examining a cuckoo clock and skipped on only to find an animatronic reindeer aiming an Uzi at me.

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  1. A D Jameson

      My kinesiologist, Lou, a Renaissance man, got kidnapped by a cartel who demanded he fix not only their strained patella tendons, but their soft-serve machine.

  2. A D Jameson

      Fear of stepping on used Huggies isn’t a douchey stroke of affect since foot-fecal terror touches many pedestrians beyond the waddling drunken fratboy masses.

  3. A D Jameson

      Being as mammalian as it gets, I assure you I feel more violated than my friend the walrus, who’s five feet high—if he exists.

  4. mimi

      Twenty-five, twin-timed, taken from authenticity; natural, enigmatic, time-proven – take time – foot-massaged, rapturous, falling back in time, laughing – she took time; then no more.

  5. A D Jameson

      In my mommy’s most magnificent mash-up yet, twenty-five imams minimally commemorated the Internet’s imminent apocalyptic collapse by impishly crying the newest online meme, “Me! Me!”

  6. mimi

      Long time ago, HTMLGiant history, explained in comment to Reynard aptness of meatspace childhood nickname – mimi – as perfect tag for internet presence avatar – me! me!

  7. mimi

      PS – Love your mommy mash-up, ADJ.


  8. A D Jameson
  9. cwinnette

      Adam, you are the greatest guy this planet’s ever seen, okay, so thanks for giving me this thing to do on the bus home: abbeys?

  10. jtc

      and see here you’ve combined art with social commentary. stellar.

  11. jtc

      love the assonance of ‘gets’ and ‘exists’ here, stretched just long enough we wonder if it’s even there.

  12. A D Jameson

      Thanks! Though I was mainly trying to express how mammalian I am (pretty mammalian).

  13. Another example of the Spell Check Technique | A D Jameson's Blahg

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