Dialogue :
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.
The 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 place.

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.

worksheet image on off worksheet poems workbook pdf worksheets pdf
Windows Workshops Dave Calder, The Windows Project ,1997,1998,1999,2009