Wednesday, May 8, 2013

It's all in the Cards: Primal Writer's Blueprint

So for this week's Writer Wednesday we're going to talk about another crazy prompt for people who just need the kick in the pants to get a draft going. So many times we plan what we're going to write so much, how we're going to write, and have so many things outlined and planned that there's no room for spontaneity and room to explore. So if you're willing to just sit down and willing to accept that the page length or how many scenes will be in your play out of your control grab a deck of cards and a hat and follow me!

Something you'll do on your computer with playing cards that's more exciting than this! (opensource)

The Deck of Cards Assignment

Put the hat on the ground and sit at your desk chair with the deck in your hand. Start throwing cards at the hat. The ones that land in the hat are safe. Whenever you miss the hat go and pick that card up. Whatever number is on the card that's how many lines of dialogue are in the scene. Miss the hat again? Create a new scene. Keep doing this until all the cards are in the hat or you've rage-quitted because your lack of throwing skills (no ninja school for you!). The play is over when you run out of cards. So let's look at an example....

Scene 1: Ace of Diamonds...1 line.

Scene 2: Jack of Spades... 11 lines

Scene 3: 7 of Clubs... 7 lines.

And the list goes on...

There are infinite ways that you could customize this to your specific needs. The main intent is to get you sitting in front of the computer and just start writing. You can edit and expand it later just for right now get it out.

Open Source

Some variations:

  • Each number on the card=number of pages in the scene.
  • Each number on the card=the number of characters in the scene
  • Finding a spade=A character must die.
  • Finding a heart=Two characters must fall in love
  • Finding a club=Two characters must fight
  • Finding a diamond=An answer is found
So get to the computer and start writing. Remember to embrace the craziness and stop thinking! Just keep writing!

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