Thirteen Words (and then some!)


Here’s what we did at the Show; Don’t Tell writing workshop last week.

Thirteen Words

A Writing Exercise Based on the Book by

Lemony Snicket and Maria Kalman


Write down 13 words, one on each slip of paper.  Make them interesting.

Listen to Thirteen Words read-aloud.

Use your thirteen words in a story, a la Thirteen Words.  

            You can start by imagining how all your thirteen words might work together to make a story. Rearrange the words to suit your story.

 Alternatively,  you could pull the words randomly from a pile, one by one. Challenge yourself to work the word into the story in the order you pull them from the pile.

Most of the participants chose the second exercise — pulling words randomly from the pile and working them into the story. 

The results were spectacular! We had fantasy adventures, punny comedy, sweet animal stories, dark mysteries, and more.

Here are some of the words participants came up with and used in their stories:

 autumn, bat, bantam, brunch, cantaloupe, crousel, constitution, curt, ditch, drenched, explore, flavorful, gunk, inky, lake, melody, miniature, pert, platypus, plummet, predicament, reprove, salvage, stench, tower, trampoline, tumble, vacuum

Aren’t they interesting?

The next Show; Don’t Tell program is scheduled for January 18.

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