Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Blind Writing Creative Writing Game

What writer doesn't like word games like Scrabble, Boggle, Crossword Puzzles, Word Search, and  my favorite board game – Balderdash (because it allows me to form bizarre definitions for words most people haven't heard)?

As a writer, I wondered how a story game might work and that's when I decided to create a game that included sentences – a story writing game, if you will. I designed the Blind Writing Game for writers – and even non-writers – to give them an opportunity to build a story – blindly.

The story can be written with all players present, or the Blind Writing Game can be played online. The Blind Writing Game turned out to be more fun than I thought it would be, and I'd like to introduce it to you with the following instructions for both the In-Person Blind Writing Game and the Online Blind Writing Game.

How to Play the In Person Blind Writing Game

Sit a minimum of four people around a table with a ruled piece of paper (makes it easier to read), pens or pencils, and a couple of paper clips. Number the paper from one to forty (or more depending upon the number of players – sentences must be in increments of ten per player).

The First Player writes the Title of the Story, and passes it along to the Second Player. Players number 3 and 4 do not see the Title.

The Second Player, after seeing the Title, adds the First Sentence. The Second Player then covers the Title by folding the paper over the title and clipping the folds to cover the Title. The Third Player should see only the First Sentence.

The Third Player, oblivious of what the title says, sees the first sentence, writes the Second Sentence, making an assumption about the connection between the First Sentence and the Title. The Third Player then covers up all but the Second Sentence and moves the story forward to the Fourth Player who sees only the Second Sentence.

The Fourth Player then adds the Third Sentence and hides all but the Third Sentence for the First Player.

The game continues as paper clips move down the folded paper for the duration of the story until players reach #40. Each player knows only his or her contributions, along with contributions written by the preceding player.

IMPORTANT: In order for writers to succeed in writing an actual story, sentences must be descriptive. Each writer logically moves the story forward without knowing all of the details.

By the time players reach #40 (if four players), they know the story must come to a logical ;) conclusion. The First Player, or any other player who chooses to read the story, then reads the resulting story out loud.

Results can be VERY entertaining, because as stories go off on tangents, and as each player attempts to bring back what he or she thinks is the story focus, the Blind Writing Game produces some hilarious results.

How to Play the Online Blind Writing Game

A Moderator begins the Online Blind Writing Game. The Moderator is responsible for collecting all of the pieces of the story and contributes only the (descriptive) Title.

The Moderator assigns numbers to each player. If the Moderator chooses four players, for example, the Moderator will write down 40 numbers, assigning numbers 1, 5, 9, 13, 17, 21, 25, 29, 33, and 37 to the First Player, 2, 6, 10 14, 18, 22, 26, 30, 34, and 38 to the Second Player, 3, 7, 11, 15, 19, 23, 27, 31, 35, and 39 to the Third Player, and 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, 24, 28, 32, 36, and 40 to the Fourth Player.

The more players (with a minimum of ten sentences each), the longer the story will be.

After the Moderator chooses the players, the Moderator writes a DESCRIPTIVE Title. The Moderator then emails the Title to the First Player, who writes the 1st Sentence and sends the 1st Sentence back to the Moderator.

The Moderator then sends only the 1st Sentence to Player # 2, who sends the 2nd Sentence to the Moderator. The game continues until Player # 4 sends back Sentence #40. All players are blind to all but their own and their predecessor's contributions. The Moderator then sends the complete story to all of the players.

Each player can then publish the story in a blog if they wish. Be prepared for laughter and lots of fun.

Writing Creatively grants permission to you if you want to post online the Blind Writing Game and the accompanying graphic, as long as the instructions and the graphic for the Blind Writing Game link back to this blog.


  1. Sounds like a lot of fun. We used to play something similar as children, "Consequences". We got a lot of laughs out of it.

  2. It does sound like fun. In my writers group we each write a paragraph and then pass the papers to the left until the sheets are full. I love word games. Thank you so much for suggesting the dream book. I had gotten one that is so difficult...
    I will give your suggestion a try. Thank you:)




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