Rory’s Story Cubes

Sunday 10 August 2014 by

Rory's Story Cubes, Writing

I’m not a big fan of writing exercises and tools. I usually find them restrictive, rather than helpful. Recently, though, I’ve discovered the joy of Rory’s Story cubes.

The ideas is that you have a set of nine cubes (either from one themed set, or mix-and-matched from several) and you roll them. Your story should link the nine different icons shown on the cubes.

Personally, I tend to roll all of them, then pick and choose a few different cubes that suit – that way I have a little more creative freedom, and don’t feel confined by the need to include every icon. But that’s the beauty of it – they’re so simple and easy to use that you can adapt how you play to suit your own particular writing style or needs.

About the Cubes

The cubes come in sets of nine, in several different ‘flavours’ with ‘mix’ cubes in packs of three that you can use to inject different themes and ideas to your stories. Sets currently available are as follows:

Original: The starter pack – a combination of different icons from animals to objects that could be used in any sort of story.

Voyages: Cubes themed around voyages and jouneys, including a few modes of travel, and the sorts of things you might encounter on an epic quest.

Actions: Cubes based on lots of commonly used verbs, such as ‘build’, ‘read’ or ‘fall.’

Clues: A mix set of three with icons based on murder mystery tropes.

Enchanted: A mix set with fairy tale creatures and magic.

Prehistoria: A mix set for prehistoric adventure stories.

The cubes are really lovely. Tactile and presented with cute stylised images, they strike a good balance between ‘clear’ and ‘open to interpretation’ which allows a greater degree of freedom when using them to inspire stories than other, more rigid devices do.

They are a tad on the expensive side at £9.99 for the bigger packs, but there is an app option. At £1.49 – which includes both ‘starter’ and ‘actions’ packs, with the option to buy more – it’s much more affordable, and though you do lose some of the tactile pleasure, the app is nicely presented and easy to use.

I’ve really enjoyed using these cubes to inspire short stories set in my story world. When I’m struggling to think of something to write, they are a perfect starting point.

You can follow Loralei on Twitter: @LAHaylock

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