Saturday, June 7, 2014

Day 59 - Eyeballs of Steel

(NOTE: I seem to have counted a day twice again, and so I had to skip a Day 58 to get back on the right number...)

I am no longer a "glaucoma suspect."  Apparently I have heavy-duty corneas and so the pressure readings in my eyes appear high when they're actually normal.  (Whoo hoo!)

Which means I don't have to worry so much about the sinus meds.

However, I didn't get much sleep last night, had to get up way early this morning to sit around for an hour while my eyes were numbed, poked (literally, dead center of my pupils -- poke poke poke), and then dilated, and then had mega-watt klieg lights shone into them for long periods of time.

Spent much of the day recovering my sleep and eyesight.

Since it was hard to look at screens, I spent the day instead creating an new writing game. Just a simple one.  I think it may be a variation of the "Relationship Game."  And it's definitely a fun way to generate characters for a whodunnit.  But right now, it's a casting game.

And it's a card game.

Which is kind of the point, because I came across a new product in office supplies: Half-size index cards.  And though they are expensive most places, at our local Meijers, they are cheap.  And they are the right size that you can shuffle them well.

Cast of Suspects Game

1. Start Collecting Names of Actors and Actresses

You may also add famous real people or characters, although you are going to pretend they are actors who happen to play themselves very well.  Try to come up with a list full of variety. (Note, you can choose any actor at any age.)

Try to get an equal number of both sexes, and if you have two wonderful actor/actresses who play similar types (i.e. always glamorous movie star) you may want to narrow that down unless you want to write lots of stories about that type of character.  You may have to dig into cast lists as IMDb to find the names of character actors.  Like if you watched an old TV show and always loved the maid, but don't remember who played her, look it up.

(NOTE TO SELF: don't forget to add Nancy Walker to my list.  Maid in McMillan and Wife.)

2. Create the Cards (Or Card List)

If you don't want to create your own cards, you can use a regular deck of playing cards. Just winnow down your list to have 26 male and 26 female, and assign an ace-through-king value and suit to each one.

Otherwise you can get card blanks (Amazon has actual laminated cards you can write on with markers - search on Blank Cards), or use half-size index cards like I do (or full-sized ones, or print them out on card-stock and cut them up.  Or you can go all virtual and simply number your list and use to choose them.

These cards are you "cast" -- they are actors, and you need to come up with a story for them to play parts.  You can cast them against type, or go with something similar to what you've seen them do before.

3.) Play the Game

There are a bunch of ways you can play this.  As a mystery game you could draw a victim and then draw five suspects and make up the story from there.  Or you could draw five characters and build up a scenario around them, and THEN choose a victim and killer.

This could, however, be a great way to play with short stories and non-genre stories -- draw a protagonist and antagonist, and brainstorm what their conflict is.  Then, as you make up the story, draw additional characters as you need them.  (Draw for minor parts as well as major parts.  And if Barbara Walters pops up as the waitress at the greasy spoon, go ahead and let her be a force that changes the story.)

See you in the funny papers.


Kyra Halland said...

Good news about your eyes! I've been deep in revisions on Daughter of the Wildings and updating a bunch of book files, so haven't been following closely, but hearing that someone doesn't have glaucoma is always a good thing :D

The Daring Novelist said...


Glaucoma is, at least, treatable (or preventable via medications), but it's always better to not have a degenerative condition.

I do a sweep by your blog every now and then too (usually via RSS, so it's harder to comment). I think we both need to keep our noses to the grindstone right now.