Narata Storytelling Cards is a powerful brainstorming tool for storytellers and other creative people. The deck of 200 fully illustrated cards displays characters, places, creatures, and other elements useful for developing stories and other creative endeavors.
Shuffle the deck, draw a few cards, study them. See what your creative synapses cook up.
All the cards and other graphics have been completed and set up for offset printing. This means we can print and ship Narata immediately after the campaign is successful!
Narata Storytelling Cards will appeal to all kinds of storytellers, be they novelists, short story writers, screenwriters for film and television, playwrights, comic book creators, actors or stand-up comedians, advertising and marketing professionals, graphic artists or designers, game designers or roleplaying game masters.
The Narata deck can be used in countless ways. Simplest of all, but effective, is to draw a few cards at random, study the cards, and see if any creative sparks go off.
As an example, say you drew the three following cards…
It’s too late now, but you might have come up with the concept for Jurassic Park, director Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster adventure movie.
Of course, a gifted storyteller can come up with several different stories based on these three cards:
Young Adult Fantasy: While visiting a popular theme park, three nerdy friends discover a portal to a magical world. There, a crazy old wizard informs them they are the heroes long prophesied to save the land from an evil dragon.
Thriller: A young art historian becomes convinced a series of brutal murders are connected to paintings by an obscure genius, but the police won't listen to her.
And let's try something more difficult, a genre that does not easily suggest itself when viewing the cards above:
Western: A medical doctor and his wife settle in what seems to be an idyllic frontier town, only to discover the town is terrorized by a ruthless, murderous land owner called Drake.
In the last two, 'theme park' became 'paintings by an obscure genius' (theme park > museum > paintings), and 'idyllic frontier town'. The cards are there to supply the spark of inspiration, so don't feel constrained by the specifics of the card. But do give even seemingly hopeless card combinations a solid think before moving on.
Develop characters and scenes. Devise complete storylines. Use the cards to play storytelling games. Narata Storytelling Cards can be used in as elaborate, methodical, or free form a manner as the individual storyteller prefers.
The carefully designed layout, style, and colors of Narata Storytelling Cards make them easily readable, with maximum associative power and creative impact. They’re fun to work with, and let you brainstorm and create more freely and therefore also more effectively. Each card “reacts” with the scene, concept, character, or story you’re working on.
Narata Storytelling Cards are standard baseball collectible size, measuring 2½ inches by 3½ inches (6.4 cm by 8.9 cm). At the top of each card, you see the title in white capital letters. The colored card backgrounds tell you which category the card belongs to. Below the title field is a graphic, motif or scene that illustrates the concept and title as literally as possible. Together, the title and image create strong, often surprising, concepts or images in your mind. Below the image you find the associations field, a collection of terms associated with the title and the image. Some of these are simple synonyms. Others are thematically related, or in other ways relevant.
The deck is divided into ten categories useful for developing story ideas and plots, scenes, themes and characters. In order to make working with the cards more efficient (and fun), each category has its own color.
After some time of regular use, associating the colors with categories become second nature. You can use the card categories methodically, for example by drawing pairs of Character cards in conjunction with, say, one Location card, one Object card, and one Goal card, or you can just deal cards totally randomly and see what surprising and brilliant story ideas manifest on your desktop.
As mentioned, all the work has been done, and the files are all ready to be sent off to the printer.
If the Kickstarter community helps us get Narata off the ground, we intend to make Narata Storytelling Cards a virtually endlessly expandable creative brainstorming system for everyone who writes stories and does other creative work.
This is more likely to happen if as many of you as possible help us get the word out on social media, as well as in whatever other ways creative persons can come up with!
The core of the Narata system is the 200 card Narata Core Deck, which assists with your creative work regardless of genre, format or target audience. In addition, and depending on how you like to work, you might want to expand or customize your deck.
This is where Narata Expansion Decks enter the picture, each consisting of 50 cards all belonging to a single card category, genre, setting, or topic.
However, Core Deck is a complete tool on its own. You won’t have to buy more cards.
CATEGORY EXPANSION DECKS add 50 new cards to one of the categories in Narata Core Deck. When you’ve used Narata for a while, you’ll know in which category or categories you might like to have more options to choose from. 50 card Expansion Decks for each of the ten main categories are currently being planned.
GENRE AND SETTING EXPANSION DECKS let you customize your deck to a specific story genre and setting. These decks add 50 cards, in all categories, with subject matter suitable to the genre. For example, Narata Romantic Comedy will give you Location cards like Ice Skating Rink and Airport, and Narata Horror contains Object cards like Severed Head and Forbidden Tome. Narata Ancient Rome adds Character cards like Centurion and Galley Slave, while Narata WWII adds Goal cards like Blow Up The Bridge and Join The Resistance.
NEW CATEGORY EXPANSION DECKS add new categories to the ten categories that already make up Narata Core Deck. The first such deck we’ll publish is Narata Plot. This deck collects cards summarizing whole three act plots. Some examples of Plot cards are Revenge, Satire, Hero's Journey, and Boy Meets Girl. Other Category Expansion Decks planned include Plot Twists, Archetypes, and Character Arcs.
And other future products let you expand how you work with Narata Storytelling Cards. Among the products in the planning stages are a board game designed to let you develop characters, scenes and whole plot lines, as well as a software version of Narata.
All backer rewards will be mailed using Fulfillment by Amazon.
If Narata proves popular with storytellers and other creators, we will launch a series of Kickstarter campaigns for Narata Expansion Decks. The two of us can't possibly do all of these decks alone, nor do we want to. We would like to collaborate with talented writers and artists, people who have passion and insight into the genres and settings Narata Expansion Decks will focus on, as well as for crafting stories in general. We already have more than 70 decks on our list of possible expansion decks to be published, so we would love to get in touch with potential collaborators.
Because we are a small operation, we want to avoid complicated administration entailed if individual decks are co-owned by other creators. Because of this, Narata will hire people on freelance basis, and make sure expansion decks have budgets roomy enough to attract talented people.
Writers will be tasked with choosing 50 cards in the chosen genre or setting, and writing scripts for each card image, as well as the associations to be listed below.
Artists will need to be able to imitate, within reason, the established style used in Narata Core Deck. Coloring illustrations will be treated as a separate task, and can be executed by the creator of the line art drawings, or by someone else.
If you want to be on our list of potential Narata writers/artists, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us a little about your background and what genres and settings you feel especially qualified to handle for us. Thanks!
Risks and challenges
Well, as everything has already been created and are ready to print and ship, there are no major risks involved here at all. The one risk we can foresee, would be if printed colors or contrast should not be exactly as we have designed them on our monitors. To offset this risk, we have in our budget funds for a test print, which will be fedexed to us, so that we can, if necessary, make small adjustments to the graphics before the final print run.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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