Word Games

With three books due with back-to-back monthly deadlines, my brain has been firmly entrenched in the wonderful world of words lately. It got me thinking about some more recreational word related activities I enjoy. My mom and I love to play this game called Bananagrams. It’s basically Scrabble, but everyone gets their own personal little game and you race to see who can exhaust the supply of tiles first. The first person to run out first, wins.

I love this game and I figured I’d be pretty good at it. After all, I’M A WRITER. Words should just flow, right? Apparently this isn’t the case 😀 The last time I played, as I struggled to form words out of the mass of mostly vowel tiles in front of me (a consonant every now and then really does help), my husband came up behind me and said, “Oh come on. You’re a writer! You should know all the words!”

I laughed at the time, thinking he was right…I mean, I do spend most of my days doing nothing but stringing words together. But later on, I thought more about what he said. Sure, I know a lot of words. But it’s not really the words that make the difference.

Working on a WIP is just like that darn game. I may be able to spell a dozen different words with the tiles I have….but if I can’t connect them to the existing words on my board in the right way, it doesn’t matter. They won’t work. It doesn’t matter how many words I know if I can’t make them fit together in just the right way.

Sometimes I’ll get a pile of tiles and whip out a mess of words so fast it makes the other players’ heads spin. And sometimes I stare at the few piddly words I’ve created with no clue of what to add. Other times, I know I can create other words if I rearrange a few tiles, but there is one glorious word that I just can’t stand to break apart – but eventually do for the sake of the game. Sometimes, most times, another player will beat me to the punch and win the game. But that doesn’t mean the words I created weren’t awesome and it certainly doesn’t mean that I can’t win the next game 🙂

I just have to keep at it, keep playing, keep forming the words until I find a batch that will get me through the finish line. And it happens. Not always and not quickly, but it happens 🙂

Another game I love even more is that one with poetry tiles. I used to get on a site every day and played a game where you had to choose up to 20 word tiles and create a poem from it. I LOVED doing that. I need to play that game again. I always really loved the poems I was able to create. And it was a lot easier for me to create something from predetermined pile of words than it was for me to create words from a pile of letters. This might be related to the fact that I really love editing but first drafts and I do not get along 😉

For the last couple of months, my alter ego, Kira Archer, has been both writing and editing. It’s been a crazy, crazy few months 🙂 but a joy to be playing a few “word games” in real life 🙂

Do you have any fun word games you like to play? I highly recommend Bananagrams and Poetry Tiles if you haven’t played yet! 🙂

Follow Michelle McLean:

Michelle McLean is a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl who is addicted to chocolate and Goldfish crackers and spent most of her formative years with her nose in a book. She has a B.S. in History, a M.A. in English, and a knack for explaining complicated things to uncomplicated people. Michelle's non-fiction works include guides on how to write essays, term papers, literary analysis essays, and poetry. She also writes romance with a good dose of mystery and humor, historicals, and a paranormal here and there. When Michelle's not editing, reading or chasing her kids around, she can usually be found in a quiet corner working on her next book. She resides in PA with her husband and two children, an insanely hyper dog, and three very spoiled cats.

8 Responses

    • Michelle McLean

      my daughter loves playing with them just to see how many words she can make. They are great help with my kids learning to spell 😀

  1. Alyssa Alexander

    Bananagrams is fun! I love Apples to Apples, which is about word association rather than letters. With the right group of people (and some wine) it can be a rousing good time!

    • Michelle McLean

      hmm I wonder if I have that game. I have one similar to Bananagrams that comes in an apple case but the tiles are built more like Scrabble. I’ll have to look at the instructions on that one again lol

  2. Sandra Owens

    I’ve never played Bananagrams, Michele, but that sounds like fun. I’m terrible at word games. 😀

    • Michelle McLean

      I do okay if I can take my time lol Not so good under pressure. And man, my sister is LETHAL playing that game. She can whip out all her words before the rest of us even have looked at all our tiles 😀

  3. Barbara Monajem

    I sometimes play Jumbline 2 on my phone. You see how many words you can make from the letters they give you. I don’t time myself, though — I’m way too slow at it.