I hope that you have started off the new year well. I continue to accumulate ideas through the Storystorm challenge. As of today, I am up to 28. Hey, not bad! Certainly not all of them will turn into stories, but the more I have, the more chance I have of at least one being a winner.
Are you writing? I am trying to write when I can, and when I am not working on a story, I have been trying out several creative writing games that I was fortunate enough to receive as Christmas gifts.
1. The Writer’s Toolbox
There are three different sets of devices in the toolbox:
a) Four palettes to spin to come up with a protagonist, goal, obstacle, and action.
b) Sixth sense cards: those are cards with a description using one of the senses or a memory that you are supposed to use to write a sensory landscape. It is one of my weaknesses, so I am trying to do this more often. Yesterday I started with “last year in Berlin”. Not that I was in Berlin last year, but I was there in 1994, so I managed to incorporate those memories into the story. After three minutes I drew the card “mouldy oranges”. Yikes! That took a rather compelling turn…
c) Sticks that allow you to start with a first sentence and then after a few minutes require you to add an unusual twist. There are also sticks that prod you to write about conflict, often a weakness in writers. I know it is one of mine.
This is a deck of cards that promises “six trillion stories in one little box” .
There are several ways you can use the cards, but the one way I like the best so far is choosing two gold cards to create a main character and then choosing two copper cards to lead you into the character’s story. For example, yesterday’s character was an animal psychic who carried a grudge. I had to incorporate a roller coaster and the main character leaving town in the story. Interesting…
It also has a junior edition I would like to try with the younger set.
3. Writer Emergency Pack
This is a deck of cards with two types of cards in it: an idea card and a detail card.
There are several ways you can use the cards. For example, you can pick out a matching set if you are stuck in a story to see where it takes you. I did that with my animal psychic story to see where it would lead me.
I also chose to do the writing exercise of using a well known story or fairy tale and then applying the cards to the story to see where my story could go. I chose “lose the cavalry”, that is, what happens if the “cavalry” doesn’t come to rescue the main characters, but instead they have to rescue themselves? I decided to write a piece of “Star Wars” fan fiction: what if Leia Organa rescued herself, this being a sore point with many people including myself. Why wasn’t she trained to use the Force? That would have been a whole different story!
I highly recommend all of these games. They allow you to work on different skills and provide some unexpected but also fascinating twists to your stories.
Have you ever tried any of these games? Do you have any creativity games you would like to recommend? I have written about this topic before here and here and here, if you would like more suggestions.
Leave me a comment below about your thoughts on creative writing games.