Playwriting

Playwriting Exercise: A Little Word Means a Lot

Hmmm, here's another exercise. Think of one word that means a car that is made up of a bunch of other cars. How would you sell that car? Write the ad copy?

Hmmm, here’s another exercise. Think of one word that means a car that is made up of a bunch of other cars. How would you sell that car? Write the ad copy?

This article gives a list of words that have no English equivalent.  The reason for that is that they don’t translate into one word, they mean sentences or phrases. For example:

  • In Swedish the word Lagom means not too much, and not too little, but just right.
  • And in Ghana there is actually a word that means “move hot food around in your mouth.”

This is a pretty awesome concept – the word that means a sentence. Sounds perfect for a writing exercise!

  • Make up a word that means a sentence. Your best best is to centre it on an emotion, that’ll work well for a scene. For example, make up a word that means, “I love you but I’m not in love with you.” Or, “I want to be angry with you, but you’re family.” 
  • Use your new word in a short scene – one page, two characters, one location.
  • How does condensing a sentence into a word work in dialogue? Does it have more impact or less?

About the author

Lindsay Price