It’s like NaNoWriMo but with smaller daily goals and all about the world building.
The Last Boy Scout by Dan Becker. Did you know there was a novelization of The Last Boy Scout? I didn’t. I love that movie. I just had to buy that book. HAD TO. I’m interested to see if it translates to the written page. My suspicion is that without Bruce Willis, it won’t. But we’ll see.
Pagan Babies by Elmore Leonard. I must really like Pagan Babies, but not enough to remember it. Because, I buy it every time I see it. Then I get home and realize that I’ve already picked it up. And then I have to find someone to give it too. It’s very frustrating to do this, but there is so rarely anything in Schuler’s used book section by Elmore Leonard that I get overly excited when I do find something. And that leads to mistakes. Whoops.
The Writer’s Guide To Fantasy Literature edited by Philip Martin. I almost didn’t pick up this last one. I have done so little writing in the past few years that it almost feels like a pipedream. But really it’s just a lack of dedication to the writing. But because I am always an eternal optimist… honest. Ask anyone. I am… I grabbed it off the shelf and added it to my purchase. I’ve never heard of it before, but referencing Dragon’s Lair and Hero’s Quest on the front cover is not a great sign. Hopefully, I will find a few gems between it’s covers.
So I have written about these things before. I was pretty well taken in by the idea of them when I first stumbled upon them and I still think it is an incredible idea. And while at my local book seller I came across the three latest ‘mix’ sets: Enchanted, Prehistoria, and Clues. Each of these adds three new themed dice to the mix. So now, I have all six sets.
Each of the larger sets (Original, Voyages, and Actions) comes with nine dice. The smaller ‘Mix’ sets (Prehistoria, Clues, and Enchanted) each have three dice in them. Each die has six unique pictographs carved into it. Additionally, each set has it’s own color, so you know which ones go with which set; if that’s important to you.
What you do is mix and match as many dice as you’d like (nine is the manufacturers suggested number), give them a good shaking, roll them out, and start storytelling based on what you see. The idea is to tell a story that links all the images face up on the dice.
The best part, as far as I’m concerned, each of the pictographs is left to your interpretation. There is no list of what this one means or what that one represents. It’s up to you to figure that out. So you can interpret any given symbol any number of ways depending on your creativity and the results of the other dice. Brilliant.
It’s designed to be a kids game. But it is a dream come true for those of us looking to generate some quick writing exercises. The website for Rory’s Story Cubes says that there are more than ten million possible combinations you can generate. And given the ability to interpret the symbols, I can’t even imagine how many stories you have. More than enough to keep you writing for a lifetime.
I think they’re great and fully intend to use them as inspiration and writing exercise. They’d also be good for generating backgrounds for characters, roleplaying adventure prompts, and as a party game for slightly inebriated adults (just imagine the stories). All in all, I’m impressed by and slightly addicted to these little dice.
Oh, the Original set, is also available in a jumbo size.
So I picked up a set of Rory’s Story Cubes at my local Target. I saw them and immediately thought they’d be a great writing exercise generator. As you can see in the picture above, they’re a set of nine standard board game sized dice with an assortment of pictures on them. They come with a dice bag, but I put mine in a cup on my desk. Nine dice is a big handful and the cup makes rolling them really easy. Now, I haven’t done it yet, but I imagine rolling the lot of them and then cobbling a story together based on the images that show up on the dice. The images are iconic enough that they can be interpreted pretty broadly and seem to work together to really spark the imagination. If it’s as inspiring as I imagine, it’ll be well worth the $15 spent.