I bought this boxful of writing prompts online for my use when I’m working with my drafts. The cards came in a neat sturdy box. It was small so it can be brought along anywhere.
The basics of Storymatic according to the instructional booklet was to draw two gold cards and two copper cards and build a story from there while keeping mind the two rules which were: the main protagonist ‘must change by the end of the story’ and ‘no killing of the main character.’
So for example, our main character is motivational speaker with a devastating secret and by drawing two copper cards: who may have found a clue about an unwanted inheritance in his dirty laundry…
From these cards, you can start and finish a story or if you are with a group of friends or family, Storymatic can be great for game nights. Games such as: Add to it (ideal for road trips, camping trips, dorm, and family gatherings) where players draw gold and coppers cards to start and end a story after deciding amongst each other if it’s going to be a 10-minute story or a 15-minute before the next draw cards. Once agreed on a modified game rule, the participants will start adding on what the previous participant said. I was chuckling so hard at the creative and wacky ideas a free-floating story creation can do once everyone got into the groove.
Another suggested game called “XYZ” were the objective of the game is to get the story character to ‘interact with each other about something important,’ so this pre-made story hint would appear like this ‘X is in conflict with Y about Z.” Draw two gold cards for the main character then draw another gold card for the secondary character. Now, draw a copper card which becomes their conflict.
So for example: Main character is a golfer who is a subject of a medical experiment. Secondary character is a geologist and their source of conflict is a frozen slice of wedding cake. This sounds like a comedy coming up.
It’s quite exciting once you get a hang of doing a bit of free-flow based on the cards you have. I also think with 500+ cards there are a lot of combinations all waiting to be written. I haven’t scratched the surface because of the enormous possibilities. I’ve tackled one combo card and so far it has helped generate story ideas with hilarious situation.
Next suggested game called “Shake It Up” which now has the main character address what ‘has shaken up their world.” Here, you also have to think of what’s normal for this character. Such as, normal for him was to sing like a classically-trained singer every morning yet prefers to rap.
For example: After drawing cards, I got a rapper who is/ may have been/ an employee in a fast-food restaurant and what throws his world upside is something he ‘shouldn’t have touched it.’ Hmmm, whatever it might be, it’s going to up to the person as he or she begins the story. Also, it can be a secondary character who will shake up the main character too so one can draw a gold card too. It depends however you want to build your story. Once the story winds down, another person will draw the cards and build a new story following the same process.
In the game called “Whatchoo want,” we all are aware characters have something they want, which we begin to ask. Here, we have a ‘space alien disguised as a person,’ you asked yourself what does this one want? You answer by drawing another gold card and this alien wants to be a ‘taxidermist.’ Start the story.
Another game to choose and play is called “Obstacle,” where as the name suggests, we now start with the question, “What is preventing my character from achieving this goal. This game continues “Whatchoo Want” so from the cards, mentioned above, we have a space alien disguised a person who wants to be a taxidermist but is hampered by a camping trip. This looks like another hilarious story. If by luck, you draw a Wild card, they are ‘prompts that will get you in any direction’ so take a step and explore where the cards lead the story.
There are several more suggested games such as: The Exquisite Storymatic, Icebreaker, and Flash (this game will need 2 dices, several pints of patience and eagerness). It is all written clearly in the instructional booklet and I think you’ll be giving ways to suit your group needs.
Storymatic does appear to be very versatile since it can be a tool for education especially for teachers who are helping kids work on their one-shot creativity stories, visual artists even can use it the prompts to inspire them to create an original panel of a graphic book or a movie storyboard and for Improv actors can use it to enhance in creating a scene and writers (novelists and screenwriters) can use it as writing prompts to nudge their respective muses and create a new world with the cards, and lastly, a great tool for game night.
One thing I can probably add is if Storymatic will be used for parlor games, the game master may need to bring a sundial too just like in Boggle word game. This can give the game participants the incentive to think on their toes and see what hilarious stories will come out as they tell the story until its end. Also, the length of the story or the number of stories told will rely on how many will participate and what modified game rules the game master has provided in order for the activity to run smoothly.
I also think if Storymatic is treated as a game, it might wear out a person’s patience if one is not used in constructing a simple short story but other than that, I’m glad I was able to find this.
Storymatic costs $29.95 and since I was able to take advantage of sale last year, it was more on the shipping cost that made me cringe more. Anyway, I recommend Storymatic as I mentioned to teachers, visual artists, writers (suffering from writer’s block) and Improv actors to check the product out.
The review was published as it's written by reviewer in July, 2014. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed.
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