Wien…er, schnitzel

Wien…er, schnitzel

Overcoming jet lag by adding a quick two-day visit to Vienna probably wasn’t the best plan. It just made me sad to leave. The visit was relaxing, welcoming, and left me desperately wishing I had more time to spend.

Mark and I waved goodbye to our driver in CA on a Tuesday afternoon. We arrived midday Wednesday to the most user-friendly airport ever. Look at the couches!

Vienna Airport Couches

We took a cab to our hotel, which turned out to be near the Russian consulate and within view of a beautiful Russian Orthodox church. As a result, the walk to downtown  Vienna and back to our hotel felt very secure: We had security guards and video cameras watching out for us on all our walks. Awwww.

The Church across the tracks from our hotel.

We were determined to stay awake until “bedtime” by doing the Rick Steves’ Vienna Walking Tour. We found the Mozart cafe and watched it’s umbrellas be blown over in the wind, injuring a bald man. DRAMA!

Mozart Cafe
Albertinaplatz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We only got lost briefly (twice), which doesn’t really matter at all when your goal is just to walk until your dinner date calls. If you get tired, have tea and apricot crepes to perk you up at Cafe Tirolerhof, a quintessential Viennese Cafe.

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There are little stories everywhere, and when you are on the first leg of your travels to a Writing Retreat they become especially obvious. Like the last two images above: Did she know him? Why couldn’t she get her own paper? Was she simply desperate for news? Checking frantically for the date so she knew when her on the fritz time machine had dropped her off…so many possibilities.

We found J&L Lobmeyer and the secret glass museum. Every direction held an artistic sight too gorgeous for words.

J&L Lobmeyer

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We found the church holding the crypt of the Hapsburgs at about the time we had to meet our friend for dinner.

We ate at Cafe Imperial, and I learned to be very careful when telling waiters they can “take the bread course away.” Here’s a picture of the odd, fancy butter tube and the delicious looking roll I was going to eat.

Before I could even taste it, we ordered, and the waiter asked if we were “done with the bread.” Greg said yes, but instead of taking away just the bread basket, they bustled away my lovely buttered bread too!

Dinner more than made up for it. We tried Wiener Schnitzel, breaded veal that is light and fluffy, and Tafelspitz, beef with lots of delicious side dishes. We had a lovely evening and Greg came back to our hotel with us for a cocktail.

Mark slept all night. I awoke at 3AM and couldn’t get back to sleep. As a result, I was tired and extremely out of sorts the next day. I found myself wanting to just lay in bed and sob because I was in a beautiful foreign country and felt so tired that I couldn’t move. I think Mark got some tea and food into me, and I felt better.

We wanted to finish the Rick Steves walk we’d started the day before. We had a little trouble finding where we’d left the walk, which was good, because if we’d found it right off, we would have missed the Nasch Market!

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Following the walking tour we also would never have seen some of the most beautiful Deco architecture of Vienna.

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By the time we got back to the church we were just in time for the “English” tour, so we told our friends we would take the U Bahn to their home outside the city a little later than planned.

Since there were only four English speakers, the guide did the tour all in German…and then all in English…both (which took a very, very long time). We were VERY late, but we did get to see the beautiful and tragic tombs of the Hapsburgs.

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I do think my plan worked, even if it made me sad to leave friends who live so far away that I don’t see them often enough. We were able to iron out some annoying bank issues in a relaxed way, knowing that local friends were there to help. We figured out local transport and started the trip off on a very high note.

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The Picture Game: A Sample Entry

The Picture Game: A Sample Entry

I thought I would start giving you more samples of my writing. To be honest, I wrote for 10 and edited/added for 20 minutes. Here’s an example of what I write when I’m playing the picture game.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Picture Game is a daily writing exercise for anyone who wants to participate. The rules are easy.

1 Pick a picture posted on the page.
2 Set a timer for 10 minutes.
3 Take no more than 30 seconds to just look at the picture.
4 In a notebook or new word processing document, write something inspired by the picture until the timer runs out.
5 Share what you wrote in the comments. You can also repost on your own blog or Tumblr or on your own G+ page.
6 If you do that, tag it #PictureGame.
7 Repeat!

She made the pendant herself. It was a tiny glass globe with a neck; the shape of an old lightbulb, but the size was just right for the hand of a porcelain baby doll. Within it, she suspended another glass cylinder. The cylinder she filled with clear glass seed beads, to represent the sands of time, but to make sure that she would always be able to see through them, and know when she was.

Around the beads, which gave a muted clinking noise as the talisman was turned end over top, she placed old gears from the pocket watches of three grandfathers. Only one of her forefathers had owned an antique watch with springs and gears and cogs that kept time flowing, meetings happening, captains of industry accumulating.

The second she found in a closet, deep in the master bedroom of the old Clark mansion. When the mayor got the little seaside palace donated to the city, and before the Clark family lawyers ripped it apart, she’d snuck in, looking for something that had the time magic.

So many things in the grand building did, but she needed something small. Something as yet un-inventoried. The box she found had four gold watches in it. All engraved, each one larger and more ornate. She took the simplest one, knowing time magic doesn’t cling to aesthetics. It pools more deeply when devices are used constantly, for decades.

Rich old Mr. Clark’s daughters both died childless, but she could tell from how heavy with years the simple watch felt that it must have come to him from his father. A grandfather. So it would do.

When she opened it, on top of the ironing board workbench, the faint scent of coal–a steam engine–was released. The copper magnate must have used it last to oversee stretching the railroad. By force of will and wealth, he made trains run from his New York castle, to the smaller mansion he built for his child-like wife and daughters, on a plateau, at the very edge the west coast.

Bit by bit she detached the innards of the watch, each loosened piece resting inside the curved lid of the watch case. Soon the small pile was thrumming with released time. Each second that each gear had tick-tocked-over, then minutes, and years, and soon decades was free of the watch’s containment, and she could pour all that magic carefully, with a miniature funnel, from the cupping top of the pocket watch into her talisman. Not a drop of time spilled on the clean white cotton sheet.

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Trust the Process. Follow the Process. Do NOT skip any step in the process.

Trust the Process. Follow the Process. Do NOT skip any step in the process.

In my work-life, I continue to learn the difference between an amateur voice actor and a professional one. Amateurs may “know” what to do, but haven’t repeated the process enough times (or recently enough) to do a task without a checklist, cheat sheet, or laborious pre-work.

Professionals have gone through the process so frequently and fastidiously that they couldn’t skip a step even if they wanted to. They get a sinking feeling in their guts that tells them, “Hey! Heads-up! Something’s missing…”

On my last gig, anyone wanna guess which bucket I fell into face first?

Luckily for me, the client was happy with the outcome and there’s no need for them to see the inner-workings (or failings) of this amateur.

What did I do that was so awful? I neglected a step in the process.

I didn’t ask for a description of the “voice,” “attitude,” or “emotion” the client wanted to convey with different sections of the training. Just one little step. One simple question, and a word or two to write on the top of my script. That step would have made the content I recorded and edited go faster, smoother, and be more consistent.

Huge oversight (though in my defense, there were extremely extenuating circumstances). And it meant that when I finally got the actual script (as opposed to the sample script) some content was more difficult to record than it should have been.

I was seeing some content for the first time, and the rest I hadn’t seen in over two months. When I got ready to capture and turn around MP3s in less than a week…I stood alone in my recording booth, holding my head while my stomach turned to jelly. I didn’t have any direction around what the lines were supposed to sound like.

Now, I’d turned in an audition, and I…could go back and listen to that. But doing every script the way I had in the introductory clips would have been…really strange. My many years of experience whispered to me that the client had hired me, but hadn’t fully considered how off-putting a continuously “friendly” attitude would sound saying lines like, “That answer is incorrect. Try again.” Shades of Hal.

Because this was a first-time client, with the potential for future work, I made an investment decision. My initial session was shorter than planned, with different takes, at different speeds, and with different attitudes. Essentially, a second audition.

I edited and sent those to the client and waited for additional direction. This ate up extra time and ultimately made the project cost a bit more, due to additional editing on my end and review time for their staff.

The project came in at the higher end of the allocated budget. I prefer projects to come in at the low end (repeat clients!), but several issues, including missing content, and typos I was asked to re-record, meant that I put in more hours than a professional who caught the issues up front might have spent.

That, dear readers, is why it is critical to negotiate your fees properly. If you correctly estimate your work hours, then add a worst-case-scenario buffer, and negotiate that as your not-to-exceed limit, the client knows exactly what they are on the hook for. You’re in business after all, and you should be paid fairly for actual work you do, especially when unexpected things come up, or something in the script is wrong and you have to re-record.

In case you’re curious, I’ve shared my industrial VO checklist below. I’m sure that as an amateur I’m still missing a few steps, so I’d love to know if you do things differently.

STEPS FOR INDUSTRIAL TRAINING NARRATION:

  • receive audition script and (if possible) ask about the target audience and any direction
  • decide on the person, placement, pose, pace, and attitude for the audition (WRITE IT ALL DOWN!)
  • record & send the audition
  • get hired (YAY!)
  • receive/review script
  • negotiate hourly, or a not to exceed project fee based on the full script
  • have a trusted advisor put a second set of eyes on the contract (if you don’t have an agent)
  • skim the script so you understand the full scope
  • practice any difficult parts of the script out loud
  • note names, technical terms, user activities (for training)
  • note shifts where the VO needs to convey different attitudes
  • ask questions about anything unclear including pronunciations and abbreviations (do they *really* want, “double yew double yew double yew,” or are we finally beyond that?)
  • ask the client to provide at least three words to describe the attitude(s) of the person delivering the information
  • have fun recording!
  • edit, master, and send
  • get final sign off and send the invoice

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What’s Casper The Friendly Ghost Got To Do With This?

What’s Casper The Friendly Ghost Got To Do With This?

A day after my post about ending friendships and not wanting to be “ghosted,” the brilliant Emily wrote a piece offering an opposing viewpoint. I’m reposting it below and coining a new term: Diablog. (might not be new. didn’t bother checking)

I strive to be fair and have open discussions about important things. Like childhood cartoons.

What was Casper’s problem?

He desperately wanted friends, but everyone was scared of him because he was a ghost. I relate to that so deeply. I mean, I wasn’t a ghost, but I also wasn’t seen.

I was a smarty-pants, “bossy” girl, who could pick the game and save the day…but no one liked her.

My sense of self is as intertwined with a desperate desire for friends as Casper’s was. But what constitutes labels like “friend,” “best friend,” “ex-friend,” “un-friend,” or even “ghost,” is a conversation I continue to find fascinatingly relevant. It comes down to Relationship. Are you in one? How do you end one? Is it “better” if both sides participate, even in the ending?

Check it out and leave comments, or join the diablog, make it a triablog (no, that’s just silly), and continue the discussion in your blogsphere!

Confessions of a Ghost

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Writing Out (of) Friendships

“A friend is someone who helps you move.

A good friend is someone who helps you move a body.

A best friend brings their own shovel.”

-Unknown Author (but wow, internet, a lot of people have used it for a long time)

 

Choked up, chest constricted like the onset of a heart attack, my eyes popped open. I rolled onto my side, cuddled the warmth of my sleeping husband, and reviewed the nightmare, breathing deeply.

It isn’t a good way to wake up. Terrified by self-loathing and an avalanche of depression.

Sobbing didn’t happen. After all, the situation in the dream was not real, so the heavy emotions threatening to bury me alive popped like a soap bubble. But a slimy residue of them tainted my Saturday, so full of promise.

The nightmare was about a friend being inconsiderate and horrible to me. I’ve not spoken to them in a year. When I woke up, my instinct was to call them, and every mutual friend we share, and scream, “I am done with you!”

I didn’t do that. However, the panicked reaction had me pondering for several hours on the nature of friendship.

#####

Going from life as a boundary-less person, to one who sets and keeps boundaries with intention, is the issue I have to work out for this lifetime. I’m all too ready to help, to support, and to prove that I am “the friend I never had” or perhaps just always wanted. An idealized friend from up on a pedestal. An incarnation of Philotes herself. Unachievable.

“I hate myself for loving you,”

-Joan Jett

#####

A week later in the LAX airport, two hours to go until my international flight, my phone rings. “Bon Voyage!” comes across the cell line. I am touched that the caller knew the date of my departure. Recalled how difficult I find it to travel, and called to check in. Thoughtful. Kind. Proof that binds: My friend loves me and actively wishes me well.

#####

No I don’t want to go on pretending, no
Because it feels like I’m talking to
I’m talking to Charlie Brown’s parents

-Charlie Brown’s Parents by Dishwalla

 

In Vienna, I’m sitting across the table from a friend I’ve known for almost 30 years. Far longer than I’ve known my husband. He has brought us to the Cafe Imperial, to experience the top-of-the-line traditional meals of Vienna: The Wiener Schnitzel all other Wiener Schnitzels aspire to be: light, crisp, fresh, and flavorful. We shared an order of the Emperor’s favorite dish too (he didn’t say which Emperor, but I bet his name was Franz). Tafelspitz, with traditional side dishes. All delicious.

This friend has invited us to his home, to be at leisure with his family, to talk for hours he could otherwise be spending profitably at work, on his yard, or doing a dozen other things. He makes time for my husband and me, and I feel that gift as a part of the deep friendship of many years that lies between us.

#####

Every friendship is as different as the person you are in relationship with. As different as the person you were 30 years ago (or a week ago) when you met someone, you first bonded.

Whatever that first bond is, attraction, mentorship, music in a hot tub, that friendship will not last in a static form. Our lives wouldn’t be much fun if we froze our bodies in stasis. Relationships are change, just as living, growing, learning is change. Time changes everything, and I measure my life on the yardstick of my relationships:

How long have I known I am your friend?
When was it clear you became my friend?
When did I realize you were not my friend?

#####

I found out about a surprise birthday party that I was excluded from. Friends-of-friends confirmed that no, I wasn’t forgotten. I was excluded. Purposefully not invited. That’s a thing that happens after 4th grade?

So what do you do when your friends-of-friends behave like they are ten-year-olds? All you can do is laugh. Laugh at the nature of humans who are insecure, and pretend it doesn’t hurt. Naw, I don’t need to pretend it doesn’t hurt: it HURTS! Every time a friendship goes wrong, ends badly, drifts away meaninglessly…it hurts.

I find the drifting away, refusing to engage, or worse: pretending nothing is different, to be most painful. That process reveals something about the person. About a lack of caring. Missing consideration bone spur generally found appended to the left side of the ribcage. Or perhaps an abusive streak, closely akin to gaslighting, “Why, whatever do you mean? Everything is fine.”

So I vague booked a little FB post that I will re-post here, with some clarification, just in case anyone reading this realizes in the midst of comprehending it, that you’re really done with my whiny, over-sensitive, demanding friendship:

I have a new “break-up” system. If you are now, or have been, In Real Life, a friend of mine at any time, you can text me, email, or message the phrase “So Long and Thanks For All The Fish.”

I will know that our relationship is over, I will honor your wish to never be contacted again, to treat you like an interesting person I’ve only just met if I encounter you out in The World, and I will harbor no ill will as you escape my sphere of influence.

It must be this phrase, so that I can laugh before, during, or after my ugly cry. You will know I’m feeling like someone in a world that’s lost it’s dolphins. But not forever. I’ll get over however I failed you.

But you have to *tell me.*  A story with no ending is the epitome of cruel and unusual punishment. Just, I dunno. Leave me a fishbowl or something.

 

#####

A truth for many of the people I call friends: Sometimes, I am so devoted to being a friend to you, that I can’t tell if you are my friend or not.

I have to write out my feelings for you, about you, your behaviors, my reactions…I have to turn us into characters in my life story to sort out possible motivations. When years go by, and the relationship gets complicated, expect me to change, and even to love you differently. To need to change our friendship.

You’re probably doing the same, and I’m not noticing…I’m too busy trying so diligently to be my own ideal of the very best friend I can be.

It is a failing, and I own up to it.

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Finnemore Fridays: Interdivention

Finnemore Fridays: Interdivention

 

Anything we humans can do, we can do a little too much of. This week, a blogger friend, Emily Randolph-Epstein, wrote a post asking for help with her tendency to hyper focus, sometimes on the wrong things. I replied in the comments, and she found it useful. Her post, and my response to it, made me think of this sketch. And not only because Emily might be one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met, but because sometimes we need our close friends to give us much needed perspective. Or…maybe we don’t?

 

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More Castles with Emily Randolph-Epstein: My Life as a Fairy Tale Character

More Castles with Emily Randolph-Epstein: My Life as a Fairy Tale Character

If you are subscribed to my monthly newsletter you’ve seen a few snapshots of Mark and me touring castles in Germany and heard what I thought about cruising. If you are not a subscriber, you can sign up here, or read the wonderful post below about someone else’s experience of the castle tour.

My over-simplified view is that castles were built atop hills across Europe for two main reasons: 1) power base 2) safety. Defensible structures of stone, with 360-degree visibility, allowed the Haves to protect their Have nots without risk to their own possessions.

Thus in this European descendant’s unconscious, castles are the ultimate symbol of safety. We can lock up the most precious things in castles, and be warned if any monsters are coming to try to take them away.

It also explains why castles are filled with gloriously pretty things. Never underestimate the fact that throwing gold on everything is an overt way to shore up your power base: Don’t cross me, or I’ll use the gold on this statue right here to hire someone to ensure you don’t wake up tomorrow.

Once a person is safe, they want to be comfortable. They prefer warm tapestries to cold stone walls; plump cushions in colors that put them at ease, and of course the Got Mad Skills craftsmen want to serve and impress the Haves. With the power and the safety of King of the Hill comes a lot of people who want to shelter with you.

So touring castles to soak in the comfort, history of power struggles, and a deeply inspiring architecture, can have the effects described beautifully by today’s featured blogger, Emily Randolph-Epstein. In My Life as a Fairytale Character, Emily does a superb job of capturing more about the tour I was on with her, and what it feels like to return home if, like me, you’re a filthy liberal snowflake.

Because frankly, for me, touring castles was like a more fun version of stopping by an open house for a property I know I can’t afford. I admire and romanticise the inherent lifestyle I don’t have, won’t have, and wouldn’t choose to have unless all my Have Nots would fit and be just as protected.

Emily alludes to a difficult fact, and like her, I’m also struggling with days where a defensible castle, filled with loved ones, sounds like a reason to book group fares and file emigration paperwork. Sadly, that’s not the sort of fairytale I’m in. My country is a scary place for people I love right now. I do not have a castle on a hill to retreat to, so it is time to figure out what “fighting the bad guys” looks like for me. It is a different, but equally important part of the fairy tales: Ensure that evil does not prevail.

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Story Prompts for Non-Verbal Thinkers, Part 2

Story Prompts for Non-Verbal Thinkers, Part 2

I don’t experience the same hesitation with verbal prompts that Mark does. Generally, words of any kind spring to life as pictures in my head. However “image inspiration” is one of my favorite approaches to writing prompts. When Mark wanted to offer tips about what works for him, I knew I could jump in with some suggestions of my own.

Flickr
Mark says, “I sometimes go to the Flickr.com “explore” page, and just scroll around, or do a search for a particular thing or idea, or even a character’s name, just to get some images to go with the ideas.” I’ve never tried this with flickr, but I do it with magazine clippings.

Magazines
Hoarder I may be, but images from magazines are useful for many things. Collaging, lining the bird cage, and oh, writing prompts!

I love flipping through magazines, tearing out pictures that are interesting. I learned to use them as prompts in a class titled Write From The Body, taught by Elizabeth Schwyzer Smith.

Elizabeth separates images of places and people so she can use them in different ways in her classes. I sort mine into a variety of categories: 

The images can be utilized for things like writing your novels faster, jump-starting your imagination, and even becoming more empathetic, which can help you deepen your characters. That third trick is done via a process that looks like this:

  1. Look at the picture below for one minute. Stare at it and learn everything about it.

2. For two more minutes, put your body in a position as close as possible to that of the girl in the picture (without falling down). Mimic what you see in the image. Swing that arm, maybe run forward in slow motion, lift your cheeks into a big smile. Feel the sun on your face.

3. Set a timer and write about taking on that body posture, that expression.

This activity can be used in so many ways. Let’s say you’re having a shitty day, but the next scene you need to write is a happy one. Use an image like this to access “happy.” Extend this to all the resources at your disposal: a picture of your own child, of yourself at the age your character is…anything that LOOKS HAPPY.

Or you can use it just to be inspired to start a story: Who is this girl running to? Why is she happy? What’s just beyond the sand dune?

The sensory exercise can also be sparked by an image: What does that beach smell like, feel like, sound like, taste like?

Once you begin collecting your own images, you add to your writer bag of holding. The fuller your bag, the more you have at your disposal for your writing adventure. More tools, like a file of images to pull from and get you going, means the dreaded Writer’s Block Monster can’t EVER get in your way. You have too many good weapons, tricks, and spells in your bag to fight anything that tries to get in your way of enjoying putting words on the page.

The Picture Game
Similarly, I found out about this site for writers via Mary Robinette Kowal of Writing Excuses Fame: The Picture Game. It is essentially how Mark is using Flickr, and how I use tear-outs, except that you can go down the rabbit hole of reading what other writers are creating. In fact, if you want to read one of the quick bits I wrote using a glorious photo of an amazingly whimsical sculpture, check out the comments here.

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Finnemore Friday: Narrative Protection

Finnemore Friday: Narrative Protection

This is still a blog about writing and narrating, so this week let’s talk about those things. I have a book to narrate that is set in England, filled with British characters. Listening to John Finnemore and his team makes me slightly less terrified as I consider prepping for the job. They are amazing examples of the highest quality acting and voice work. I can pick apart the performances: What was the attitude there? How did she change that placement? Oooh, I know that voice, but the pace is different. I have endless fun listening to both the content and the artistry, mimicking and learning between laughs.

The (hours and hours of) clean, clear, diverse British dialects give me great hope that I will be able to pull off British characters for the upcoming Remains in the Rectory. I depend heavily on my ear for the subtleties of dialect, but I can’t wait to do more research on what the dialects performed actually *are* and how to do them properly.

In addition, dry British humor is known for self-referential nods and winks to the fact that it knows what it is doing and how. In this week’s episode, the first sketch in Season 1 Episode 2, Finnemore tackles storytelling and the power of stories to affect views of the world. This is something that as a writer I keep in mind at all times. I’m attempting to build worlds inside readers’ heads. So when I write, I have to ask, am I having the effect I want, or are my attempts backfiring, like in this story:

 

 

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Story Prompts For Non-Verbal Thinkers, Part 1

Story Prompts For Non-Verbal Thinkers, Part 1

This week’s guest post is courtesy of Mark Bessey. Mark is renowned among his acquaintances as a teller of funny stories. Lucky for us, he has finally decided to write them down. He blogs about software issues at Another Day in The Code Mines.

 

It’s accepted wisdom, maybe even a truism, that writers love words. But some writers are not inherently verbal thinkers. For me, whether I’m trying to work out a plot point, or imagine a scene, I usually start with a visual impression. I see a little movie play out in my head, and then I write down the dialog and describe the scene from there.

I often find that traditional writing prompts leave me cold, like those from Reddit’s /r/WritingPrompts, or the ones at the end of the Writing Excuses podcast. When I’m looking at an empty page, and a bunch of words in a prompt, it can be hard for me to get the writing engine engaged.

If words alone don’t always work for you either, tune in over the next couple of weeks for writing prompts that go beyond just words. First up: Story Cubes!

Rory’s Story Cubes
Nominally, this is “a storytelling game” for all ages. But it’s also a fantastic brainstorming tool. It’s a set of dice, but instead of a number, each of the faces has a simple line drawing of a thing, an action, or an idea. You can roll the dice, and see where the images lead you. For me, this works remarkably-better than sitting and staring at verbal prompts for a while, feeling increasingly frustrated. The visual prompts frequently lead immediately into a story idea.

For example, while on the Writing Excuses Retreat Cruise, we were given an opportunity to do a Lightning Read of 350 words of one of our stories. I didn’t have anything that I really felt like reading out loud to an audience, so I decided that I’d write something new (within the next hour), and read that – because why not make something that was already going to be really hard for me even harder? I pulled out the cubes, and I rolled this:

The pyramid and the mobile phone make a wonderful juxtaposition, don’t they? And what’s the deal with that globe? From this, I got the inspiration for a story, which I’m calling Project Manager – a short comedic sketch about a time-traveling(?) telecom engineer, and the origin of the Great Pyramids of Egypt. I don’t think I would have come up with this story without that visual.

I’ve used the Story Cubes as writing inspiration for a few years. Originally, they just had the one set of cubes, but they’ve branched out into a huge variety of add-on sets.

The “big” sets (9 cubes each) are Original, Actions, and Voyages, which are broadly applicable to all sorts of genres and styles. They’ve got a bunch of sets with more-specific themes (3 cubes each), covering themes like horror, sci-fi, and fantasy, as well as branded sets for the Looney Toons and DC Comics. You can often find deals online on multiple sets offered together like this one.

I’ve got the three big sets, as well as Enchanted, Prehistoria, Clues, and Powers (actually Superkräfte, because I bought that set in Germany). I gotta say, I don’t find that Prehistoria is really very useful unless you’re actually writing a story about dinosaurs. I’d highly-recommend any of the other sets, though.

Next Monday, we’ll follow up with some more non-verbal writing cues, including auditory and kinesthetic techniques. See you then!

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