Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wordplay and the Writer

What can you do with an oxymoron?
The average writer can take almost any oxymoron and use it for the basis of a good story or article. Take this one, for example:
Why do we sing "Take me out to the ball game" when we are already there?
Think about this for a moment. Okay, here’s one option. What about writing a short story about a kid going to a ball game, who asks that question of his father. The child’s father can’t answer the question to his satisfaction. The boy asks a few people sitting close by, none of whom have a ready answer, either.
At last he meets a slightly older boy who’s obviously standing with his father. The older boy looks at him as asks, “What do you think they do it?”
The young boy looks around at the spectators, along the bleachers to his own father who’s avidly perched on the edge of his seat. He remembers the smiles on everyone’s faces while they sing that old favorite and the laughter at the end. He sees how energetic people are as they watch the game.
The boy turns back to the older one and says, “They’re celebrating a day off work, aren’t they? They all get to come here and play.” He’s so pleased that he finally understands why adults do something in particular.
One oxymoron, one possible story.
Here’s another easy one that can create an interesting article for adults or children.
Doesn't "expecting the unexpected" make the unexpected expected?
This question creates an interesting puzzle. Since the word “expecting” negates the other verb tense “expected,” the result should be a null action. But, is it? If you ask any good Boy Scout, the Scout Motto demands that very action on the part of each member. Always being prepared means to be prepared for whatever comes, much of which will be the unexpected.
An article discussing that very motto and its implications could work for all ages and both genders. Examples of preparedness along with examples of unexpected events can be used to educate about such things as disaster pre-planning. There are more than enough good examples of disasters from the news over the past three months. The subject is a timely one.
A writer can sometimes turn something as innocuous as an oxymoron to their benefit. Using a simple reference point can make a writer’s life much easier when in need of a short piece to use as filler and still get paid for it.
I’d like to hear the types of subjects others use for putting together small articles. What kind of odd triggers do you use? Drop your experience in a comment and share with the rest of us.
Until later,

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