I have writer Nat Russo to thank for guiding me towards this little gem of a writing tool.
Story Forge Cards are like Tarot for the writer; you can lay them out in a series of “spreads” in order to create a character back story or simply break a bout of writers’ block.
Following on from yesterday’s post My Writing Conundrums I sat down again this morning to get my teeth stuck into pesky chapter eleven and give it some much needed oomph.
I decided to use the Story Forge Cards for some guidance and to also justify the element I had already introduced. Using the Character Back Story spread I was very surprised when a lot of the cards I chose justified the direction I had chosen but also fitted in with my intended character’s story arc. I only needed to select some different cards to really flesh it out.
The spread has helped me deduce that my character has a good relationship with his mother however, he is in denial about his true nature in order to try and live up to the expectations currently placed upon him. This presents me with a crossroads on how to develop his character as the story progresses.
I now feel a bit more hopeful that this character is not going to weaken the story as I have been fearing.
After this little success, I then decided to create my own spread. This one is called the Character Motivation Spread.
This spread is a little simpler. it works thus:
Cards 1 & 2 – the character’s work
Card 3 – I pulled Youth on this one so decided it would be either the passage of time, character’s age or time in service
Cards 4 & 5 – How the character carries out his work and what is the motivation for that
Cards 6 & 7 – In what circumstances does the character work. Secretive? In a team?
Cards 8 & 9 – Who or what is the target and why
Cards 10 & 11 – Is there assistance along the way? Do they help or hinder?
Just messing about with these cards in a made up spread really helped me answer some of my own questions on one of my other characters for there is not much revealed about him to begin with and his motivations mean I can either keep him as something of an enigma or throw in some reveals throughout the story. Both paths, I hope; would make him an interesting person to read and be involved with.
For anyone stuck on their writing, if you haven’t come across Story Forge Cards yet I really do suggest you give them a try.