Rough Drift

"Small" writing challenges for my small writing talent. Hotel note pads are the only space allowed. Let's see if I can strip it down and tighten it up to learn something. Improving my skill of weird fiction.

(Review) Rory’s story cubes: Action


I had earlier used the green bag: Voyages, the original set of Rory’s cubes, as an experiment for one of my stories on this blog. That story turned into three parts, called The Fortunate Leftovers. A story of disenchanted men left over after WW2 seeking some meaning through adventure. Those nine cubes can apparently generate a few thousand words if one is not careful. They gave me the vessel of transportation, the goal, some creatures and weapon ideas. It also gave me such a big story that I think what I posted might have suffered from over-editing. All the pieces of it were from things used in voyaging; however, this blue bag of actions? Well, Let’s play around.

I’m just going to list what the dice show for this particular roll in the picture.

-A big curving arrow.

-Something kicked.

-Something was stolen.

-a sound from knocking/impact.

-entering a doorway.

-lifting something heavy.

-digging a hole.

-throwing something up.

-jumping down.

These cubes have any number of uses, as idea generators or, as the directions say, as a game. I don’t know about your experience with Rory’s cubes but the game it speaks of is completely left up to us to devise. The instructions we get to make up. I wonder if we can roll the cubes and from that action, devise the rules of the game?

With the list of nine actions above, I organized them into steps of an action scene for a story. This is, primarily, a flash fiction blog of stories and related things. So what can we do with these? I like the direction change of the big arrow, so we could leave that for the middle of the story for a sudden twist. or, something as simple as a direction change. There is kicking, stealing, impact, heavy things, digging, jumping, etc. Looks like that one moment of a heist or theft or it could just be a difficult Steinway grand piano burglary using very strong people to throw it around? The beauty of the cubes lies in our state of mind in the moment we use them. If a romance writer rolled these, it could turn into a love scene of difficult proportions with stolen or imprisoned love. (Man stealing, perhaps?)

Some family members and I tried to make a game in its own right where each person would roll one cube and add to the story. Of course, it became awfully mad-libish where the mad-lib in question becomes unfunny and senseless. A waste of paper. With The Fortunate Leftovers three-part story, I arranged the cubes in some form of logical segue allowing an easy transition from cube to cube.

Here is my order I picked: dig a hole, jump down, lift something heavy. That’s the first three of nine and makes for a good setup or finish. Now, how about the rest? Well, looks like a break—in of sorts in relation to a theft. How can the digging and the rest combine?

Answer in story No. 55, and why is it another treasure story? I gotta figure that one out. At least it’s only a thousand words – half of the Fortunate Leftovers tale. So it’s at least related to this site’s intent as such. Now, the question arises. How long did it take from the start of this review article, rolling the dice, writing what I found and then putting it to story plus a basic revision of it all? it’s taken about, oh, I’ll say a bit over four hours.

Enjoy the next post: 55.) Couples Midnight Retreat (A Rory’s Action cubes tale)


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This entry was posted on May 3, 2016 by in Uncategorized.
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