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Take Ten for Writers Exercises : [Seuss-erific] Q & A

Take Ten for Writers • No. 60

[Seuss-erific] Q & A

By Bonnie Neubauer

Q & A Writing ExerciseWhat started off as an imaginary conversation between made-up friends about real questions toddlers ask ended up with the development of the fictitious Dictionary of Ludicrous “What If” Questions. Each crazy question is accompanied by a long-winded, equally ludicrous response penned by a lexicographer-for-hire. (A lexicographer is a person who writes and compiles a dictionary.) You are today’s ludicrous lexicographer. When penning your response, think of Dr. Seuss or other children’s books to get in the groove of answering your “what if” question.

Pick a number between 1 and 10: ______.

Find your number below. This will generate a ludicrous “what if” question to be answered.

Q & A List

Find your number here. Use the choices in the grid to generate a ludicrous “what if” question to be answered. (An example from grid 1: What if babies earned French fries?)

1 What if computers caressed french fries?
  What if bulldozers earned kisses?
  What if paper grabbed mushrooms?
  What if babies healed nuns?
2 What if park rangers zipped nouns?
  What if genies rented opera stars?
  What if cows irritated prayers?
  What if cockroaches quizzed onions?
3 What if managers yearned for violins?
  What if newspapers examined umbrellas?
  What if politicians waxed fortune cookies?
  What if puppies invented wedding rings?
4 What if potatoes vexed swords?
  What if donkeys unearthed disasters?
  What if blizzards chewed peppers?
  What if comedians contaminated odors?
5 What if trees wore knees?
  What if hair drank garlic?
  What if thumbs grew glasses?
  What if cherries lost shoes?
6 What if generosity drooled ice cubes?
  What if canaries copied pollution?
  What if pillows married ideas?
  What if bookstores aped cinnamon?
7 What if ovens questioned dreams?
  What if bicycles blasted diapers?
  What if buildings beat up on photographers?
  What if baseballs romanced tulips?
8 What if televisions investigated wood?
  What if machine guns relied on lawn mowers?
  What if paint showered race cars?
  What if pizza documented feminine products?
9 What if radios raised alligators?
  What if money mated with grapes?
  What if schools socialized with avalanches?
  What if parks crushed brides?
10 What if rules slid down devils?
  What if monsters blessed egg hunts?
  What if teenagers sliced icicles?
  What if cookies demolished hangers?

Now TAKE TEN minutes and WRITE!

Take Ten for Writers by Bonnie NeubauerDownload Q & A Exercise (PDF)
This printable writing exercise is published with permission from Take Ten for Writers © 2009 Bonnie Neubauer. All rights reserved.

TAKE TEN Take-Away

If you’re stuck in the middle of a piece, ask yourself some non-related “what if” questions like: What if the plot were a light bulb? What if this character were a bird? What if this magazine article were blown up to be the size of a Thanksgiving Day parade balloon? You will likely generate odd answers that will expand your thinking and enable you to brainstorm beyond your normal limits. No matter how absurd it seems, the more you think like this, the more you will come up with original solutions to writing challenges. •

Next: Saucy Millionaire Writing Exercise »

Bonnie NeubauerBonnie Neubauer is the inventor of the Story Spinner and author of the revised and expanded deluxe edition of The Write-Brain Workbook. More »

3/5/13