Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Writers Kit and Topic Generator

One of my nieces has an interest in writing and making her own funny zines so for Christmas last year we decided to gift her a homemade writing/zine making kit. This gift idea gave me the opportunity to browse through my favorite isle in every store; office supplies! After gathering up the essentials, (pencils, erasers, scissors, glue stick etc.) I put together a couple notebooks using sketching paper, scrapbook paper for the covers and embroidery thread for the binding. My favorite part of kit however is the topic generator game I created for her that she can use for brainstorming in those moments of writers block OR just as a story starter in a little creative writing sesh.

The topic generator includes instructions for playing and three flip books labeled 1, 2 and 3. Each book has 24 pages with one idea of something to write about per page. Book 1 has 24 nouns or subjects (a turtle, a toaster, the Easter Bunny, etc). Book 2 has 24 actions to write about (doing somersaults, planning a party, playing chess, etc). Book 3 had 24 places or locations to write about (the moon, a shoe store, a candy factory). In total, the three books provide 72 different topics of things to write about in various categories. That being said, the books can also be used together to make an entire topic sentence. Using the books this way will enable the user to create hundreds of story starters.

Making a silly topic sentence requires three simple steps. 
Step 1: Flip open to any page of book 1 and write down the subject
Step 2: Flip open to any page of book 2 and write down the action next to the subject
Step 3: Flip open to any page of book 3 and write down the location next to the action

That's it! The user now has a topic sentence. The instructions also suggests adding prepositions in order to make a complete or proper sentence. So in the example shown here the sentence would read: The Easter Bunny playing chess inside a candy factory (the word "inside" being the preposition). Obviously the user can throw in a few adjectives here and there to give the sentence a little more pizazz. Maybe the sentence could read: The elderly Easter Bunny played chess with his imaginary pet squirrel in an abandoned candy factory. Make sense? Okay good!

After completing the game I packaged it up into a zip lock bag and added it to the rest of the kit. I wrapped a tag around the case as a giveaway to what was inside. I sort of wanted to keep this gift for my own writing sessions (I'm pretty nerdy about this stuff) but I kept the Christmas spirit and sent it off in the post.


  1. Great idea! Enjoyed reading this post as well as many others on your blog this morning.

  2. Do you have the topics/titles for the cards that you could possibly post?


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