The ultimate tool for quickly and easily brainstorming and outlining works of dramatic fiction or smashing through "writer's block."
Huge thanks to everyone who backed this project and helped to make Story Forge a reality! If you discovered this project after it ended, don't despair! Story Forge decks will be on sale to the general public shortly after all the Kickstarter backers have received their decks. Please go to http://www.StoryForgeCards.com for details, or follow the discussion at https://www.facebook.com/StoryForgeCards.
Writers have traditionally used 3” x 5” index cards to brainstorm their stories and characters, but often, even those cards stare back at you as blankly as the pages you are trying to fill. But what if those cards were already crammed with drama-provoking ideas?
Story Forge is a deck of 88 cards packed with the elements that all great stories are built from, like dramatic building blocks. Novelists, playwrights, screenwriters and role playing gamers can easily combine them in countless ways to maximize dramatic tension and blast through writer’s block.
Start by choosing a spread diagram from the 32 page booklet included with the deck. Each spread is tailored for the type of story you are working on, such as "The Love Story," "Film Noir," "The Crossroads," or "The Train Crash." Next, draw random cards from the deck and place them into the indicated positions that suggest context. Lastly, read the meanings directly from the card faces.
Each card illustrates a unique concept: plot twists, reversals of fortune, or character archetypes. You will find the seven deadly sins and their countering virtues as well as the four horsemen of the apocalypse and their opposites. There are cards that represent the various stations of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and The Hero’s Journey. Some cards speak of humanity’s finest strengths and most tragic flaws, while others evoke the powers of gods and the universe itself.
The definitions on the cards are suggestive, yet vague enough that you can’t help but interpret them within the context of your story. If a card doesn’t match your conception of the character or situation, that too is informative, and you can lay down further cards until you find one that “clicks.” The deck also contains blank cards so you can customize Story Forge to perfectly fit your unique writing style.
After a few cards, your mind will be racing with possibilities, any creative block completely gone!
The concepts contained within the Story Forge cards and the situations they may suggest to the user may be too complex or intense for young children, and parental guidance is suggested.
You can see more demonstration videos of the cards in action at www.StoryForgeCards.com
Be sure to read "The Story Behind The Forge" in the Updates section!
What people are saying about Story Forge:
"Having a sense of play is vital to being a creative writer, and Story Forge encourages that better than anything I’ve tried. The unexpected associations of ideas, the imaginative “what-ifs,” the sudden reversals, twists and turns that make up compelling and orginal plotlines and stories-- they’re all waiting in that deck of cards. A simple re-shuffle, combined with your own instincts and insights, and you’re good to go, as many times as you like. So go play, have fun, and be a better writer for it."
-- David Frost, Director of "Ring of Steel"
“As a novelist and screenwriter, I’ve always been suspicious of tools that supposedly help writers “craft” their stories. But Story Forge is different than anything else on the market. Unlike other tools, Story Forge randomly generates an evocative tapestry of rich possibilities, thematically deep and deliberately ambiguous enough that the writer can interpret them in a wide variety of ways. All in all, Story Forge is a great tool for stirring your brain and generating insights. It’s like spitballing ideas with an endlessly creative, wise, and maybe slightly drunk friend.”
-- Jeff Seeman, screenwriter of “American Virgin” and author of “Guns and Butter”
"Story Forge Cards are really a cool concept, not only from a role-playing gamers point of view, but for anyone that enjoys writing. It is undoubtedly a nifty tool for overcoming writer’s block, and can expand the 'theatre of the mind' for roleplayers on either side of the screen by giving them more to think about in terms of character backgrounds, motivations, as well as plots and story arcs. I must admit that fooling around with the cards is quite fun and a little addictive, and the fact that they are completely genre-neutral allows them to create characters and plots for any game system and setting, from fantasy to horror to science-fiction. I think it would be really fun and unique, as a gaming experience, to base an entire campaign on players making characters with this method."
-- Neuroglyph, EN World Magazine
“Story Forge is a marvelous accomplishment -- intriguing, inspiring, and as useful as it is fun. Every card is a steppingstone that illuminates and guides the writer toward the heart of his or her work. Indeed, the deck could be likened to a treasure map torn into bits. Each card offers clues, even as it invites us to detour to our heart's desire. The deck is the perfect diversion for anyone with writer's block, since it offers an alternate route to bypass the blockage.”
-- Craig Conley, author of “Magic Words” and “One Letter Words”
“Whenever I get stuck on a story, I start throwing the Story Forge cards. Time and again they have provided creative connections that have helped me think through my various plot contortions. Story Forge is a writer's block hammer!”
-- John R. Mabry, author of “The Kingdom” and “The Monster God”
"What I love about Story Forge – and what makes it a vital part of my game master's toolkit – is that it doesn't dictate the story to me; instead it draws out my best ideas, the creative twists I didn't even know were waiting for me."
-- Dinah Sanders, author of “Discardia” and avid gamer
“Story Forge is my first go to when I need inspiration. Plus, it's just fun to discover new aspects of your characters, or new reactions to unthought of situations. You want to know what really makes your characters tick and new and interesting situations to put them in? Story Forge is your tool.”
-- Jake Simpson, author of “Myndware”
"Whenever a writer stares at an empty page, unsure of what to do next, they are in immediate need of Story Forge. Imagination sparks at the turn of each card. Motivation, characterization, plot twists…it's all there! I wish I'd had access to this amazingly well-thought-out tool earlier in my career. Many days of facing that empty page would have been so much more productive. I have a deck now, though, and absolutely LOVE it!"
-- Ginger Chambers, Author of 33 books for Harlequin and Dell Publishing
"Using this deck is so fun and inspiring, it actually makes me look forward to getting writer's block."
-- Jason Shankel, Stupid Fun Club
I will ship rewards anywhere in the world at no extra cost to you!
Each half of a card represents two different aspects of the same idea. Upright, the idea is expressed as a positive or external manifestation of the card's key concept, inverted it represents a negative or internal manifestation. Rotating half the deck every time you shuffle randomizes which end comes up when you draw a card.
But that doesn't mean you are stuck with the way a card comes up in the deal. When working with a spread, rotating a card is often the easiest way to steer a story towards a desired tone. Got a card that's too negative? Give it a spin to the lighter meaning. A character getting off to easy? Rotate the card to stick it to him or her.
Unfortunately, no. The money from this Kickstarter project will be used to have the decks printed. The art is ready, and I have a printer standing by, ready to produce the cards the moment the money is released. You can increase the odds of making Story Forge a reality by spreading the word far and wide!
What's the advantage of owning more than one Story Forge deck? Are there situations where I might feasibly go through an entire deck at one sitting and need more cards?
The only real advantage I can think of is that with one deck, each card is unique. If a specific card comes up in a spread, that's it. But if you were playing with more than one deck, it would be possible for that same card to come up again in the same spread!
The other possible advantage is that each deck comes with two blank cards in each suit so that you can make your own cards. If you had two decks, you could cannibalize the blanks out of both and have twice as many custom cards. Other than that, I can't think of much reason to work with more than one deck. That certainly doesn't mean there aren't others, they just haven't occurred to me.
pledged of $12,000 goal
seconds to go
Jan 20, 2012 - Mar 20, 2012 (60 days)
Pledge $25 or more
One Story Forge deckEstimated delivery: Jun 2012
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Two Story Forge decks.Estimated delivery: Jun 2012
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One Story Forge deck, signed inside the box by the author.Estimated delivery: Jun 2012
Pledge $100 or more
Four Story Forge decksEstimated delivery: Jun 2012
Pledge $200 or more
Six Story Forge decks, all signed inside the box by the author.Estimated delivery: Jun 2012
Pledge $500 or more
Eight Story Forge decks, all signed by the author + Your name on the back cover of the booklet that comes with each deck + Four signed 12" x 19" art posters of conceptual art by illustrator Keoni Chavez, based on Story Forge card conceptsEstimated delivery: Jun 2012
Pledge $1,000 or more
3 backers Limited (5 of 8 left)
Ten Story Forge decks, all signed by the author + Your name *in bold* on the back cover of the booklet that comes with each deck + Four signed 12" x 19" art posters of conceptual art by illustrator Keoni Chavez + 1 deck of "The Writer's Tarot," a previous edition of the Story Forge system used for play-testing. There are only 100 of these decks in existence, and only 8 decks remain.Estimated delivery: Jun 2012