March has arrived, with spring (hopefully) bouncing along in its wake. Time to brush away the cobwebs that gathered during winter, and what better way to do that than with a new writing game—the Story Shuffle!
You may recall February’s post, detailing the writing events at the Sprint Shack for the upcoming months. We asked you to submit some short prompts—character bios, settings, years and items of interest—for March’s writing game and you didn’t disappoint! We now have a bank of prompts, ready to give your imaginations a work out.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start at the beginning.
What is the Story Shuffle?
In a nutshell, the Story Shuffle is a writing game that involves creativity, imagination, flexibility and a whole lot of fun. If you’re looking for a break from your current project, a bit of light-hearted entertainment, or a potential plot idea, this is the place to be.
What does it involve then?
I have four piles of cards sitting on my desk: character bios, settings, years/eras, and items of interest. Twice a week, every Saturday and Tuesday throughout March, I’ll shuffle each pile and pick a card from them at random. These four cards will combine to give the story starter for that half of the week.
What are the rules?
- Write a short story, piece of microfiction, novel, poem, script—whatever floats your boat—using the bio, setting, year/era and item of interest from the current (or past) prompt.
- Tweet us on Twitter or message us on Facebook with the #StoryShuffle hashtag, letting us know you’re taking part.
- If you want to, post your masterpiece online, direct us there, and we’ll point others towards the link too!
- The deadline for the challenge is the end of March, so have any stories you’d like us to promote posted by then.
- Take part in as many or as few prompts as you like. Just have fun!
Each Story Shuffle prompt will be announced on Facebook and Twitter, from @TheSprintShack using the #StoryShuffle hashtag. Write something for each story starter, just the one, or pick and choose your favourites—the choice is yours!
Remember: the Story Shuffle writing game is all about flexibility and fun. One week’s story starter could have a bio, setting, year and item that don’t seem to fit together at all. It’s down to your imagination to cook up a situation where that could happen, whether it’s an alternate reality, futuristic or ancient world, far-off planet or a different universe entirely! Let your muse run free and take you where it wishes to go.
So, are you ready for the Story Shuffle starters? Here you go:
1st March 2014
Item of interest: Enchanted canvas
4th March 2014
Character: An 8 year-old math genius who talks with a lisp
Item of Interest: A fake voodoo doll
8th March 2014
Character(s): A group of American college students in a study abroad programme
Setting: The frozen wastes of the Bahamas
Year/Era: Future Wild West
Item of Interest: A dusty, out of tune piano
11th March 2014
Character: A blind pianist
Setting: A café in Florence
Year/era: Late 1700s
Item of interest: A mask that steals people’s faces
15th March 2014
Character: A talking turtle who dresses up as a hare for the local forest races and has an unhealthy coffee addiction
Setting: The centre of a black hole
Item of Interest: A cracked mirror that forms a portal between dimensions
18th March 2014
Character: A 13-year-old competitive plate spinner who’s worn the same t-shirt every day for 2 years
Setting: A secret room hidden behind a locker at a futuristic school on the moon
Era: Cold War
Item of Interest: A pair of mismatched slippers that cause the wearer to teleport to the place they’re thinking of instantly
Are you taking part in the Story Shuffle? What fantastical and outlandish ideas have you come up with so far?