Not too long ago, I joined my friend, her husband, and her mother to a live “Whose Line is it Anyway?” show. The show was amazing, with the cast — Ryan Stiles, Jeff Davis, Greg Proops, Joel Murray, and the talented pianist Bob Derkach — keeping us laughing the entire time.
There was a game that they played that I unfortunately can’t remember the name of at the moment that consisted of a couple of the cast members acting out a scene while a third occasionally called out, “Do over,” or something similar, making the acting cast members revise their last spoken line into something else. There were so many different ways any of those scenes could have gone based off of the last spoken lines, and the cast of course tried to go with the most ridiculous route possible.
It’s an exercise that I’ve done with writing as well. I remember back in 11th grade about ten years ago (sheesh) there was this particular writing assignment that my literature teacher had assigned us. We were to rewrite the ending of the latest book we had read while using a line from said book to springboard our own ending.
I picked a really random line from the narration rather than a snippet of dialogue like half the class, and I just wrote. Pretty sure I ended up killing the main character due to lost love, and my teacher enjoyed it enough to recommend me a couple of books and suggest that I join the school’s newspaper team.
I’ve found myself doing the exercise on my own as well. I have plenty of plenty of do overs in regards to some of my own stories, either by taking them in new directions from certain scenes or switching up the main character or even something as simple as changing the point of view. It really helps whenever I may get stuck or just need to get recharged when writing the story.
I wonder what other “Whose Line is it Anyway?” games can be applied to writing…