Saturday, 4 December 2010

The Unpredictable Tale

Upon looking for some fun and inspiration today, I came up with a game for my dad (over at Writes of Passage) and me. It is a sort of literary exercise in itself, in which you have to write a short story depending on the rolling of a die! Hence the title 'The Unpredictable Tale' came up, and we got to trying it out. Before I post the result of my literary experiment, I'll explain the options that came up, and you can try out the game yourself if you like.

First die determines the basic role of the main character:
1] Spy/Detective
2] Fighter
3] Mage/Sorcerer
4] Child
5] Poor Person
6] Rich Person

Second decides the gender:
1-3] Male
4-6] Female

The third die shows the setting:
1] Forest
2] City
3] Cave
4] Desert
5] Mountains
6] Dungeon

And the fourth the time period:
1] Medieval
2] Futuristic
3] Victorian
4] Present Day
5] World Wars
6] Post Apocalyptic

At this stage you write the first paragraph, which needs to detail the information you have gained so far. It will describe the character and the setting. The first time we did this exercise dad and I decided to limit each paragraph to 100 words. This is great if you want a real challenge! The next stage in the process was to introduce a second character, by re-rolling the first two dice. You then have another paragraph to introduce the second character and make them meet your initial character.

The third paragraph occurs after you have rolled the die once more to determine 'What happens when...?':
1] There is an Explosion
2] There is a Thunderstorm
3] A Weapon is Drawn
4] A Prophesy is Made
5] You Find an Object
6] You get Trapped

Lastly the fourth paragraph is the ending. Having a set ending is difficult, but it really challenges the imagination to think outside the box. Here are the options on the die:
1] Joy
2] Fate Confirmed
3] Defeat your Demons
4] Death
5] Love
6] Cliff Hanger!

I know I found this game, difficult and very informative! It was also great fun, and really pushed me to the limits of my creativity. I came up with two short stories that I'm really very proud of, firstly with a hundred word limit to each paragraph and secondly with no length limit. I hope you enjoy reading about, and maybe even playing my game, and check out my stories and my dad's stories when he gets round to posting them!


  1. Yes, I can definitely confirm it was both a challenge and great fun. What amazed me was how we both introduced elements at the start which became essential to the "plot" in the final paragraph.

    It's definitely worth doing where two or more writers are gathered together! (A variation would be to swap stories each paragraph so that you have to carry on someone else's story - works best with four people)

    *Round of applause for Emma*

  2. Nice to meet you Emma. Your game is awesome. Do you mind if I share this on my blog?
    N. R. Williams, fantasy author

  3. Excellent idea! I love the creativity behind it will try to give it a go. Look forward to seeing your entry on my blogfest too. :O)

  4. Go for it Nancy, I'd be honoured!
    Thanks Madeleine, I hope your attempt worked out!