You will need
- Pens or pencils
Before you begin
- Decide whether you want to run this activity as one base during a creative session. It may work well to give people a choice of this activity, an activity for their Artist Activity Badge, or an activity for their Entertainer Activity Badge.
- If you want to save on printing, print enough ‘Roll and write’ sheets for everyone to see one, and have plenty of plain paper for people to write on.
Roll and write
- Everyone should split into groups.
- The person leading the activity should give everyone a copy of the ‘Roll and write’ sheet and a pen or pencil. They should give each group at least one die.
- The person leading the activity should explain that the key ingredients of planning a story are deciding on who, when, where, and what.
- Everyone should take it in turns to roll the die to choose who will be the main character in their story. They should circle (or note down) which number they roll – and which character it gives them on the ‘Roll and write’ sheet.
- Everyone should repeat step four for each of the other categories to decide when their story happens, where it happens, and what the main plot point is.
- Everyone should get into a comfy space – it’s up them whether they want to go it alone or sit near someone so they can share idea.
- Everyone should get creative and write a short story (600 words is about right) that uses the plan the die gave them. They should think about how they’ll link the who, when, where, and what into a story.
- Once they’ve finished their stories, everyone should sit back and read it through. They can make any small tweaks – sometimes it’s easy to miss a mistake in the excitement of writing.
- Everyone should share their story with someone else. Once they’ve both shared their stories they should discuss the plots – however random they were.
This activity was about trying new things. Have people created something without controlling the key ideas before? How did it feel? Sometimes trying something new can be scary, especially if people aren’t sure how it’ll go or whether they’ll succeed. The important thing is that they give it a go – it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t go to plan first time round, as there’ll be plenty to learn. Writers edit their work (and their editors do too) to make sure things come across clearly. It’s much easier to edit a ‘bad’ page than it is to edit a blank page! It’s also great to try out different ideas, perspectives, or ways of writing before you settle on your final draft.
This activity was also about communicating. Was it easy to get the words flowing? How was writing a story different to other forms of communication, for example, updating a friend on something that really happened or writing a factual essay? Would people do anything differently if they took on the challenge again?