Writing Prompt Story Starter: Story Cubes

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This week’s story starter features story cubes. Story cubes involve a selection of dice with images on each of a die’s six sides. Story cubes often come with nine dice, so that’s 54 images to help inspire story ideas.

How they work

Pick up the dice and let them fall. Now look at the dice and pick an image that catches your attention, then pick another image and so on.

If using nine dice, a good starting-off point is to use the images in story sections. So, pick three dice for your story introduction, three for the middle part of the story, and finally another three for the conclusion.

Of course, you can freestyle. Working with story cubes is all about engaging the imagination, seeing if pictures form ideas or scenes in your mind. It’s a spontaneous form of creativity.

Some story cubes collections are centred on particular subjects. You can even make your own, mixing and matching your designs. And if it helps ease expectations, don’t plan – work in the moment.

On your bike

What about the enclosed cube images – do they inspire? The one that engages me is the bike image. It looks like an old-fashioned bike, but who is riding the bike and why?

The great thing about fiction is, you are always asking questions – questions about the characters, the situations facing them and their story goals.

Back to the bike. I see a sunny day and a smiley face next to the bike cube, so I’m thinking of someone who is obviously in a good mood, with the sun shining outside. This is where I’ll deviate from the cubes and use my imagination. Why is the character in such a good mood?

Maybe there is a wedding to attend. But how does the bike fit in? Maybe the bike is a tandem, for the bride and groom. Or the bridal car breaks down and the bride has to find her own way to the church – a bike being “one” mode of transport.

You can see how story cubes can lead to all sorts of story scenarios. Enjoy the fun, creative process and see how the cubes fall.

Alan Spink

Alan is a member of the “Friend” Fiction Team. He enjoys working closely with writers and being part of the creative process, which sees storytelling ideas come to fruition. A keen reader, he also writes fiction and enjoys watching football and movies in his spare time. His one tip to new writers is “write from your imagination”.