I’m a HUGE fan of anything that will spark creativity, storytelling, and basically just get me unstuck in my writing. Even though I primarily write non-fiction, sometimes taking an hour or so to work on a fiction piece can just get the words flowing.
And sometimes just THINKING about fiction stories will do it!
Just so we’re 100% clear: I think fiction is way harder than non-fiction. I have the greatest respect for fiction authors. And since my video project is within a week of being completely finished, I’m rapidly running out of excuses to avoid starting the novel.
So when I got an email from Writer’s Digest saying that they had these little six-sided dice guaranteed to get your writing juices flowing, I was all in.
They are very similar to a tool I made a million years ago called a story machine. Basically you come up with two decks of index cards, one with occupations and one with situations. Pull a card from each deck and whamo! write a story about it. The problem was that I had to come up with the ideas for both decks of cards. AND, after playing with it for a while, it wasn’t really a “random” story. It just wasn’t easy enough to create permutations.
Enter “Writer’s Blocks”
There are four six-sided cubes:
Green – genre
Orange – plot twist
Red – protagonist
Blue – plot archetype
Sounds pretty straight forward, fun and easy, right?
At first glance, I really REALLY liked the idea. Especially the since the protagonist cube has a non-human! (Hello dogs and birds and even inanimate objects!)
Here are the challenges:
1. The pouch the cubes come in is so tiny that they just barely fit inside
2. There’s a “key” on a teeny weeny piece of paper
3. The key isn’t printed anywhere else; you can’t find it on the website
And the key is pretty much critical to using the cubes. Otherwise, you have to remember exactly what “Hero-MA” means or what rolling a “rival” on the blue cube stands for.
I LOVE the idea of these blocks. They’re small, have a TON of ideas that can be created and completely generate lots of ideas.
So I’ll be scanning the key into the computer so I have it when the tiny piece of paper makes it inevitable break for freedom. And I’ll be transferring the blocks to a larger pouch that can fit the four cubes AND the instructions.
Here’s a link where you can get the Writer’s Blocks. They make a GREAT gift!