Tuesday, February 21, 2012

6 degrees of Kevin Bacon

The theory goes that you can connect actor Kevin Bacon to any other actor/actress in Hollywood within 6 people/films. (Wikipedia article). Inspired by a college party game, players start with a Kevin Bacon movie and then randomly choose another actor/actress and connect how they knew each other. The idea spread and created multiple websites, countless discussion, and even a new phrase "6 degrees of Kevin Bacon."

So how does that apply to writing?

Writer's Block Help website uses the concept of 6 degrees of separation to create a triple decker writing prompt to get your creative juices flowing. Take three random objects and connect them in a story in as few lines as possible.

Here's some examples taken directly from their website:

"Choose from some of these:
-a bowl of goldfish, a man in black, and a train
-a kangaroo, a bouquet of flowers, a wind chime
-a set of candlesticks, a grandfather clock, a tree stump
-a flat tire, crepe paper, white roses
-cinnamon ice cream, a teddy bear, a picture frame
-a kitchen towel, a pigpen, pistachio shells
-a spoonful of sugar, a roaring fire, a glass eye
-a night light, the funny pages (cartoons), three rubber bands
-a screwdriver, a blade of grass, a kitchen tile
-a schoolbus, a lady in red, a priest
-sand, a videotape, a plane ticket
-an opened envelope, eight dollars, a lipstick print
-a Tic-Tac-Toe game, a styrofoam cup, a kitten
-a bagel, a heating duct, a suitcase

My daughter and I used to play a game where I'd give her three random objects and she'd have to come up with a story tying them all together as she fell asleep. It was a lot of fun for me to try to think of my own story line to share with her and certainly got my own creative juices flowing!

What about you? What random three objects/people/places would you recommend as a writing prompt? Leave your suggestions in the comment section below!

-Sarah Southerland
Living Life at Warped Speed blog
"Not Another Sarah" book 


Erin Shakespear said...

Alright, this is awesome. What a fun idea!

Julie Daines said...

We've played that game before. You can choose any two actor/actresses and do the same thing.

I guess I don't usually use any "writer's prompts." I just fish around in my brain until something clicks, or maybe someone will say something and I'll think, That's it!