Most writers, certainly the ones I know, love word games. These can range from good old Scrabble to the Times crossword. I fall into the former camp! It is a very good day when I get a cryptic crossword clue right but never mind!
I am also fond of fun, pun games which are the ultimate form of word play as far as I’m concerned. You’re taking the language and “mucking about” with it. What’s not to like about that? It is how so much comedy is generated. It does wonders for your vocabulary too given you have to know the various meanings for any pun to work.
Radio shows such as Just a Minute, The Unbelievable Truth, and I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue are all dependent on word play. I was sorry to hear of the death of Nicholas Parsons and hope that Just a Minute does not die with him. I am convinced he would not have wanted that and it is a marvellous show. Working with words gives endless permutations so I see no reason why it couldn’t go on.
I was taking part in a fellow author’s book title game during the week. Some of my examples were:-
Stormy Weather by Gail Force
Standing Upright by Ei Leen Right.
Stealing Headwear by Robin Hood
You get the idea. All very silly and exactly what’s needed right now! (I’m also pleased to say Milton Jones is back on Radio 4 at the moment. If you love word play, check him out. Don’t forget to look up The Goon Show too. All very silly, so much wonderful word play, and great fun).
I thought we’d have a go at some word games here.
Rules: Take a well known book title and take a letter out of it for humorous effect! See how many you can come up with in five minutes.
Beak House – one for the bird watchers amongst us I think.
Bleak Hose – bad news for the gardeners and car washers amongst us.
An Ale of Two Cities. One for the beer fans.
Live and Let Di – Of course what Di does is up to you.
Ascent of Ma – Whose ma and where is she going?
Interesting Tims – and, on a more serious note, I was very sorry to hear about the death of Tim Brooke-Taylor. He was an interesting Tim and a very funny one. I was a huge fan of The Goodies, as well his comedy on Clue and prior to that on I’m Sorry I’ll Read That Again.
Anyway, see what you can come up with.
Add a Silly Phrase to existing book titles. For example, add “in my porridge”.
Rules: Add the phrase to your book title and see how silly this can get! If you want to hear wonderful examples of this, do look up back episodes of I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue.
Five Go On an Adventure In My Porridge
The Lord of the Rings In My Porridge
Diamonds are Forever In My Porridge (that would be a nice problem to have, would it not?).
To Kill a Mockingbird In My Porridge
Little Women In My Porridge.
Carry on, Jeeves, In My Porridge (what a thought!).
Again, see what you can come up with!
Add a Letter to a Book Title
Rules: Just add one letter to your book title and enjoy the results!
Sons and Plovers – puts a different angle on the D.H. Lawrence novel, does it not?
The Legend of Robing Hood – a unique look at cloaks, maybe?
Lord of the Lies – I might be interested in this. What lies? Which lord? I suspect some of you may think of answers to that!
Itches Abroad – sounds uncomfortable and nowhere near as fun to read as Terry Pratchett’s wonderful fairytale send-up in Witches Abroad.
Ascent of Mane – Whose mane and where is it going? Does the animal it belong to know about this?! Is the mane going off on its own?
Change One Letter in a Book Title to come up with something different
Rules: Just change the one letter and again set a time limit for how many you can come up with.
A Tale of Two Cigies – yes, I know there should be a second g (!) but be fair it would be a very different book from what Dickens intended!
The Old Curiosity Shoe – I have no idea why Dickens’ books work well for games like this but they just do!
The Old Curiosity Hops – hmm… one for the brewers and maybe the Real Ale fans.
Crate Expectations – one for the haulage industry I expect.
Wind in the Pillows – not pleasant I should imagine.
The Lobbit – one for the shot putters etc amongst us.
The Lord of the Sings – one for the choir fans I think.
Take the start of a book title and add your own ending.
Rules: This can only work for books with more than three words in them I think. See my examples to see what I mean. Be as silly as you like! I have been as you’ll see.
Pride and…. Precious Little Else.
The Lord of the…. Bring and Buy Sale.
Wind in the …. West and Rain Forecast for Friday
How the West Was… Found to be the Opposite of East (the author is Ivor Gift for Stating the Obvious!).
Joy in the…. That Nice Quiet Period Just after Lunch with apologies to the late P.G. Wodehouse. In all seriousness, if you want a really good laugh, do check out the real book Joy In the Morning. It is a classic for a reason.
Catch 22… and then Get Run Out. A tale of woe for cricket fans.
Now I hope you smiled at some of those at least! Over to you now and have fun with this. Word games force me to think laterally and sometimes I’ve had ideas for stories and CFT posts as a result of that! Thinking outside the box, just for fun, is a good thing to do, whatever else might result from it!
Read blog posts by Allison Symes published on Chandler’s Ford Today.
Never miss out on another blog post. Subscribe here:
Subscribe to Blog via Email