I have been spending some evenings in the company of various very cool people (VCPs – you know who you are!). With two particular VCPs I have been spending happy hours in the Indooroopilly McCafe, drinking lattes (we are nothing if not classy) and dissecting the notes one of them takes in Kim Wilkins’ writing lectures.

One of the tutorial activities involved writing blurbs for hypothetical books, and my friend thought her classmates took the task far, far too seriously. To assuage her disappointment, we invented Blurb Wars.

To play Blurb Wars:

  1. Each player takes a sheet of paper, draws a rectangle and writes an imaginary book title in it. The pages are then passed along one player.
  2. Each player then draws the cover art for the title they have received. Again, the pages are passed along.
  3. The third player then has to write a thrilling blurb.

Some variations:

  1. Themes – for example, we played a round of sequels. They were invented sequels to invented novels (Son of the Cousin of the Bride of the Swamp-Thing, and so forth), but you could also do: sequels to known, sadly sequelless books; titles with a certain word in them; genre-themed rounds (eg romance, science fiction), and so on.
  2. Add extra steps, such as writing the opening paragraph or doing the movie poster and casting, or writing a review. These steps could be in any order – you could, for example, start with the casting, then the poster, then the title of the book of the movie.
  3. Randomly generate elements, e.g. titles could be chosen by choosing one noun and one adjective out of hats.
  4. Play it off the back of a particular fairytale or storytelling game.

Scoring:

None. I prefer games which are played with no or minimal scoring (or, indeed, strategy), but simply for the purposes of invention and hilarity. You may invent your own scoring to suit your purposes. Or put the pages on display and let people vote on which they’d read.

This is my favourite of my covers: