Play This Word Game to Generate New Ideas

Shimpei Takahashi, a toy designer, used the word game Shiritori to develop some of Japan’s most popular toys, which he outlines in a 2013 TEDx Talk. What appears to be a seemingly random list of words can spark your brightest idea. It goes like this: Think of the first word that pops into your head. You can give yourself a prompt or be random. Now think of a new word that begins with the last letter of the previous word. Continue this chain until you have five to 10 words.

Related: 11 Positive Words to Add to Your Vocabulary

The Shiritori Method

Now consider how the words can connect to form a new concept. If you’re writing a murder mystery for example, maybe you never considered using a train as your location, using a drawing of a rainbow left on a napkin as a clue to when the murder occurred. The ideas are supposed to be ridiculous, so don’t hold back.

Related: 5 Ways to Get Ideas Flowing


This article originally appeared in the December 2017 issue of SUCCESS magazine.


Cecilia Meis is a full-time writer and editor based in Dallas, Texas. Besides SUCCESS, her work has appeared in Time Out Dallas, Rewire, Healthline and others. Outside of work, she plays beach volleyball, attempts home cooking and is ardently working toward making her cat, Nola, Insta-famous.

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