The Furniture Game

You probably know the furniture game and it is fun to play. I have played it as a guessing game and as a way of thinking about an individual.

Think of someone you know well and then think about them in terms of any number of things. Answer the question: ‘if they were a [insert here a category] what kind would they be?

Here are some ideas:

If they were a chair … what kind of chair would they be?

If they were a day of the week …

If they were a cup  …

If they were a tree …

If they were a coat …

If they were book …

If they were a dog …

If they were a vegetable …

The game helps us think about metaphor; how when you make such a comparison, there will be one or two elements that are common to both the subject and the comparison. It changes how you look at the subject, often refining description. 

You could just stop at the game without writing anything down but laughing quite a lot. I have often seen character descriptions that are a list of all the comparisons:

My sister is an office chair she likes to spin round and round, skids down the corridor on smooth castors. 

She is Friday night, work done for the week and ready to party.

She’s my favourite cup, elegant and brightly coloured.

She’s a silver birch, tall and graceful. She can set a fire alight.

My sister is a good novel, a page-turner with a surprise ending.

She an English Springer Spaniel.

She’s a bunch of radishes, crisp and peppery.

That is quite fun and would be better if it was edited.

But it would still end up as a list of different things. Maybe you could start with a list of different ideas. Then choose one that really works for you and spend a bit of time developing it:

My grandpa is an old armchair, 

‘Less of the old,’ he says.

He’s big and comfy, a bit threadbare.

I love to sit on his big cushion

knees. He creaks a bit as I snuggle

down to listen to his stories.

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