Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Word Play

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New Monthly Feature – Word Play by Morgan Mandel


How to Play

Today, and every second Tuesday of the month, we’ll play with a chosen word or string of words. I’ll make a choice, offer some uses, then invite you to comment below with a sentence using the word(s) we’re playing with. If you wish, you can use one of the phrases in my illustrations and expand on it, or you can make up an entire sentence from scratch, as long as you use the monthly word(s). Hopefully, this exercise will inspire us to take a new look at words and use them in fresh and exciting ways. To start with, I've chosen an easy word, but you never know what I might pick next.

Be sure to add your name and website or blogspot with your comment, in case someone really likes what you've written and wants to visit you.

Also, if you happen to know of an instance in your own novel or someone else’s that illustrates the meaning of the monthly word(s), be sure to mention that as well.

April's Word - Overpowering

Caution: When you use an adjective, do so sparingly for emphasis.
Here are some overpowering examples I've thought up. Note that in many of these instances overwhelming might also be substituted, but don't do so if you offer an example here.

Overpowering cologne/perfume – An overpowering scent hit me in the nose last Friday morning at the train station. I had to hold my breath to get away from it.

Overpowering urge/compulsion - I have an overpowering urge to check Facebook again.

Overpowering weakness – I possess an overpowering weakness for chocolate.

Overpowering emotion – My main character, Julie, in Killer Career, has an overpowering fear of elevators.

Overpowering presence – Also, in Killer Career, Tyler’s overpowering presence hid his character flaws.

You could also use overpowering as a verb, although ing verbs are not as strong. Still, for variety, you may wish to sprinkle in one or two. Here are some verb examples:

Overpowering the urge to drink takes much willpower.
Overpowering the hands of time is impossible.
Overpowering her opponent proved easier than she thought.

Now it’s your turn at Word Play.
Play in the comment section below.
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Morgan Mandel
http://morganmandel.blogspot.com
http://facebook.morgan.mandel

33 comments :

  1. Once inside my room, I pulled off my clothes, which now smelled of swamp water and chicken poop. I turned on the faucet to get the bathroom nice and steamy. My sixth sense must have been on super alert because my room had an evil aura as if it had been invaded by a swarm of boogiemen. As I pinned up my hair, the overpowering feeling intensified, but before I could assess the situation, I heard a light clinking of metal and then my uneasiness spoke.

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  2. Great, scary example!

    Morgan Mandel

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  3. The way his black hair curled at the temples and his icy blue eyes literally caused my body to tremble. He took a step toward me. I had the most overpowering urge to run. I knew if I stayed I couldn't resist him. My body would betray me.

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  4. fun idea! i like your chocolate example (of course!) And I have an overpowering urge now to get some! (but I won't as it's early. haa!)
    Chris V.
    http://cverstraete.com

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  5. As I pushed at the outside door, an overpowering gust yanked it from my hand, pulling me out of the house. Pressing into the thick wind, I struggled to the front of the porch and wrapped my arms around a fat column. In front of me, dark green waves reared and catapulted over themselves, bashing against the sea wall before hurling onto the front lawn. As a cold smack of salt spray hit me in the face I thought: “Dear God, what have I gotten myself into?”

    http://middlepassages-lcs.blogspot.com/

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  6. We fought fist-to-face, and I could see in his eyes the overpowering urge to rip me apart.

    experimentinfiction.blogspot.com

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  7. So far, everyone is taking this much further and more exciting than I thought. Way to go!

    Morgan Mandel
    http://facebook.com/morgan.mandel

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  8. In the heat of the midday sun, the overcrowded bus moved slowly through the busy streets of Cancun. With seats for about half of the passengers, I stood in the centre isle, gripping the overhead steel post. A very tall man with rich dark eyes stood next to me, his hard, muscular body rubbing against mine with every bump in the road. He was gorgeous, with perfectly chiselled features and a clean, fresh look. A light, salty breeze off the nearby ocean drifted in through the open windows, like a soft caress upon our sweaty bodies. His lean, firm thighs pressed tightly against mine, dark brown eyes holding my gaze. It took every ounce of self-control I possessed to resist the overwhelming passion that quickly threatened to consume me. The bus slowed to a stop, pressing our bodies tightly together, neither one of us resisting. Our faces scant inches apart, he gave me a shy grin as he slowly turned toward the exit with a dozen or so other people. With my heart pounding wildly, and my breathing ragged and shallow I had the overwhelming urge to hurry off the bus and catch up with him. But as the bus slowly moved away, I watched him reach down and scoop two tiny children into his arms, while a beautiful woman with long straight black hair down to her waist, and a body that would stop traffic, tucked her arm into his as they walked away. Alas! It was just a moment in time!

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  9. Sitting at the dinner table with her fiance's family, Sarah experiences a feeling of peace that she’s never felt before. As she gazes around the table, basking in the warmth of the family’s love, she unconsciously begins to rotate her engagement ring. When she feels the large diamond against the palm, of her loosely closed hand, her smile is replaced with a hint of a smirk and as she watches the mother carrying on exuberant conversations, with her family. Sarah brings her left hand to her lap as her right hand moves her food aimlessly about her plate. She begins to rub the diamond across a small area of her thigh, ripping through her stocking until she feels the moister of a small trickle of blood on her leg. She closes her eyes, for what amounts to an extended blink. When she reopens them, she glanced around the table, as if seeing these people, for the very first time.
    Because she was … Sarah has been forced from the table… by her protector …and she has no warm fuzzy feelings for these people. What she does have, is an OVERPOWERING urge to kill everyone here… except this bitch of a mother. She’d leave her alive to relive the horror, everyday of the rest of her God forsaken life, drowning, slowly in her pain and misery. “You f___ing bitch”, she thinks, as she smiles at their future mother in-law.

    I've been bouncing ideas for this story around in my head for a few months now. It must be itching to get out because I set down to write something using the word Overpowering and this is what came out.

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  10. A prickling sensation, the kind you get when you know someone is watching you but you can't see the person,started at my shoulders, then ran down my spine and back up. I stopped and looked behind me, but saw nothing. The forest was still, the trees did not move, yet I had an over powering feeling something followed behind me in those trees. I had the urge to run.

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  11. He was overpowering in every sense of the word: toweringly tall, packed with muscles, square-jawed, and with a determined glint in his eyes, but his unwashed body gave off an ordor that made my eyes water.

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  12. More great examples with surprise endings. I like the guy with the kids and the wife, also the guy with the body odor that made her eyes water, but all of them are great.

    Keep it rolling!

    Morgan Mandel
    http://facebook.com/morgan.mandel

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  13. 5-7-5 haiku:

    Overpowering
    worm-fresh dirt and daffodils
    fill my nose with spring

    www.primary-sources.com/blog

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  14. She absent-mindedly pulled the tab on the right side of the expensive Hermann Miller chair and unzipped her Manolo Blahnik alligator boots as the seat lowered. She pulled up to the solid oak workstation and moved the antique tiffany lamp to diminish the glare on the 17 inch monitor. As she began to type, she was engulfed by an overpowering urge for a Big Mac.

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  15. As I crept up to the barn, I had an almost overpowering urge to stop, let Marshall go and forget the whole affair had ever existed.

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  16. The overpowering odor of skunk invaded my car immediately after I heard the thunk.

    Hmmm. That was kind of gross -- I'm in a strange mood today.

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  17. My overwhelming need for writing practice hasn't yet motivated me to pick up my pen.

    www.thechristiannaturalist.blogspot.com

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  18. It was just a trip to the grocery store, a weekly chore, that ended with me on the floor in the frozen foods aisle. I don't know what hit me. The last thing I remember was opening the freezer door to get a gallon of orange sherbet and vanilla ice cream when this over powering wave of sickly sweet perfume washed over me, overwhelming my sense of smell and sending me crashing into the freezer and onto the floor.

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  19. On the Calexico quake:

    My concentration on the keyboard was broken when I heard the birds stop singing. Then I heard the faint rumbling I knew was the advent of the quake coming closer. My first thought was, "is this the big one, at long last?" I had survived the 1994 quake, and the one in 1987, and the one in 1970. But then the shaking began, a gentle rolling motion, circular waves overpowering my sense of balance until I was nearly seasick from it. It never grew stronger than that, then passed on slowly. My spider sense told me it was far away, so I switched on the television and learned that it was far south of L.A. on the Mexican border, and that it's force was pegged at 7.2.

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  20. He had the overpowering urge to take her in his arms, lower her to the bed, and claim her as his own.

    www.debrastjohnromance.com

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  21. Overpowering and blind, the unwrit page that drives all thoughts of language out of mind.

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  22. That unwrit page one is way too true!

    Morgan Mandel
    http://morganmandel.blogspot.com

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  23. As Mr. Patricks lectured us on Hamlet, he fiddled with his fly, seemingly unaware of what he was doing. I resisted an overpowering urge to laugh.

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  24. Entertainment for the editors--I'm going to like second Tuesdays!

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  25. The urge to buy a Kindle overpowered me. Alas, I'm now $269.03 poorer.

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  26. The squeaking of the floor in her bed room created an overpowering sense of trepidation, a feeling as real as when he raped her a year ago, yet last she heard, he was in prison. She covered her head. Her heart palpated. Her body shook. Suddenly she felt someone pulling the covers off her and the smell of strong aftershave permeated in the air.

    Janet Glaser
    Janover60@sbcglboal.net
    http://www.myspace.com/janetglaser

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  27. My colonoscopy was scheduled for tomorrow. I sat at the table and stared at the bottle of medicine I was supposed to drink and studied the odd curve in the nozzle on the Fleet's enema bottle. I had an overpowering feeling to call and cancel my appointment, but I had to face the exam no matter how much I hated the idea. After all, I was over fifty and the test was a punishment for living that long.

    For hours after I finished the medicine, the only overpowering feeling I had was to sit on the commode. What a way to spend a day!

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  28. Ginger, I've had some of those same feelings. Not looking forward to the next one!

    Morgan Mandel
    http://morganmandel.blogspot.com

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  29. I'll play! I knew I'd used the word in my latest WIP somewhere.
    This will be in my October 2010 release, "Night of the Living Dandelion," (book 11 in the Flower Shop Mystery series):
    “Come with me.” His voice was a whisper near my ear.
    “Where are we going?” I asked, trying not to betray my anxiety.
    “To my bedroom.” The smell of oregano was overpowering, as though he had doused himself in them. Was that something vampires did?
    “Why are we going to your bedroom?”
    “There’s something I need to show you.”
    That sounded like a line from a bad movie: Come with me, little girl. I have something to show you. Thwack!

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  30. The dank scent of death edged around the eye-watering profusion of flowers and perfumed women, overpowering my need to put in an appearance at my cousin's viewing. Reversing direction, I sprinted for the parking lot and fresh air.

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  31. Sauntering down the road, I swung my guitar by my side, thinking about the sleeping girl on the train. The business man behind her had been snoring, but because she was the more obvious of the two, everyone thought it had been her. Immersed in the memory, I had forgotten why I was supposed to hurry home. Nobody would be waiting for me. There were no appointments. Janey was old enough to look after herself now. Then I remembered. The overpowering urge to go shocked me into a flat-out sprint. As I picked up my heels and fled for my self-respect, I felt a warm trickle spread down one leg. Too late.

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The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. Some of our contributors are editors, some are authors, and some are writing sheep. Yes, sheep.

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