Day 116 – Speed-story with Storymatic

Today’s new thing takes a little bit of explaining.

Last Christmas I bought my husband a Storymatic – a set of cards with an equal mix of character traits and situations. The idea of the Storymatic is that the cards provide you with prompts to write a story. The beauty of these cards is that they can be used however you wish: they can be drawn at random to create a story on the go, they can be used in improv games, or simply as a round-robin game during a long journey. We decided to have a speed-story writing game with them, and see what we could come up with within half an hour.

Our first cards

We decided to draw two cards of each colour, have 5 minutes planning time, then write about them for the first 10 minutes. For the remaining 15 minutes, we would draw a card every 5 minutes, somehow fitting the new cards into the story as we go. We used an egg timer rather than our phones to time us, and constant ticking made it so much more stressful!

The additional three cards.

Whereas my husband’s story was a neat and concise character study, mine was a sprawling epic, with shady characters and an abandoned lighthouse. It was so stressful trying to cram everything in into the time, that logic had to be abandoned for a lot of my story – the aforementioned lighthouse also doubled up as a rocket, and the glue was to be used to stick the astronaut to her seat during take-off. We were in tears of laughter whilst I was reading my crazy story out – it didn’t matter if it was well written or not (it wasn’t) I was more impressed that I managed to cram all the card prompts into the story.

We had such a good time doing this, the strict time rules and shift in direction every five minutes made you think on your toes and get creative. What was really interesting to me was that even though we used the same cards, our stories were wildly different. We will absolutely be using the Storymatic in this way again, it was so so much fun that we were left giggling for hours afterwards about the cheapskate astronaut who had to be glued to her abandoned lighthouse rocket!

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