Windows on the Mersey, Postcards, Pavements
Windows on the Mersey, Postcards, Pavements and Where We're At
all start from the view, shaping description by the choice of detail.
In Windows on the Mersey the players (originally in a community centre
overlooking the river) are in a room with a view - of anything! The panes of
one or several windows are covered over and numbered. Cards are drawn
to determine which player is to use which pane.
Then in turn each player
uncovers their pane for five minutes, during which `exposure time' they can
make notes for a poem - and take one or more photographs. The Project
was assisted by Aware for the photograhic workshop.
The view is then
closed and the player can begin to develop the poem - and the
photographs. In the original workshop the poem and the photograph were
printed together as a combined image.
The details are made significant by the impression the player forms of a
scene in a short period of time, a snapshot memory.
Postcards, devised for schools, is like the Art Game without postcards,
or City of Poems without pictures. The players were asked which parts or
produce of their home town should be on postcards. The produce needs a
location. After this, since they knew the place, they were asked to describe
what they saw there, what it is like to be there - a postcard in words.
important details are those that will give the reader a good idea of what the
place is like, and it's important to keep reminding players that general
descriptions don't really do that - smaller details give a clearer sense of
Pavement is an urban version of Yellow - the players use cards, each
of which represents one quarter of a paving stone and carries a word related
to street life or environment, playing them onto a board marked out as a
pavement, trying to set down a set of four, both to fit the shape and to
relate the words on the cards in a coherent idea.
As they move along the
eight stones of the pavement they seek to maintain and develop the theme,
description and narrative.
The best work usually comes from tight
connections and description - brevity, precision and evocation of
atmosphere rather than narrative. For story writing it is better to let
players lay out all their cards first and then construct the plot.
For further information on this sort of game click on games listed under DIALOGUE in the INDEX side bar.