Narata Storytelling Cards is a powerful brainstorming tool for storytellers and other creative people. The deck of 100 colorful cards displays characters, places, creatures, and other elements useful for developing stories or other creative endeavors.
Shuffle the deck, draw a few cards, study them. See what your creative synapses cook up.
All backers who choose the $15 Narata Core Deck reward will receive their pick of one of our two comic strip collections, Fjoldsen or Bananos. Backers who choose any of the $30 or more rewards get both! We will send these bonus rewards out immediately, before the campaign ends. Send us a message on here, and let us know if you prefer to receive a PDF or CBZ formatted file, and which email address to send it to.
Fjoldsen is a comic strip about a Norwegian immigrant to Hollywood who produces low budget horror movies.
Bananos is about life in the world's smallest banana republic, La Republica de los Bananos. (This is our personal favorite.)
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.
Every deck comes with a little book that suggests several ways of using the cards in your creative work. 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 background in the title field tells 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. This field’s background is colored with a lighter version of the category color.
Narata Storytelling Cards are divided into nine 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.
We are ready to create the remaining cards (how many depends on whether we reach our stretch goals) very quickly, and 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 100 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 or topic.
Narata Expansion Decks let you expand and customize your deck, like new category cards or cards for specific genres. 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 nine 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 nine categories that already make up Narata Core Deck. The first such deck we’ll publish is Narata Meta. This deck collects cards dealing with abstract concepts that deepen story thematics and character development. Some examples of Meta cards are Rage, Memory, Prescience and Ambition.
If we reach our second stretch goal, Meta will be included in Narata Core Deck as the tenth category. Other Category Expansion Decks planned include Plot Twists, Archetypes, and Story 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.
We have two stretch goals, each of which, if met, adds another 50 cards to Narata Core Deck. Our stretch goals have been determined so that we will have sufficient means to spend the time required to create another 50 or 100 cards.
STRETCH GOAL #1: $14.000
If we reach our first stretch goal of $14.000, the number of cards in the Core Deck will be increased to 150. In online stores, the 150 card Narata Core Deck will be $25 plus shipping.
STRETCH GOAL #2: $20.000
If we reach our stretch goal of $20.000, the number of cards in the Narata Core Deck will be further increased to 200, and another category, Meta, will be added (see above). In online stores, the 200 card Narata Core Deck will be $30 plus shipping.
If either stretch goal is reached, more production time is required, and estimated delivery time will be moved three or six months, respectively.
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!
This is the second launch of Narata Storytelling Cards here on Kickstarter. The first was a mere two weeks ago, but we quickly realized we had made the rewards too expensive. This was not due to greed, but rather from a wish to avoid the possibility of getting unpleasant surprises later, for example that our costs would prove to be greater than the donations collected, in which case we would have to refund everybody and not print any card decks.
During the first two days, our $20 early bird rewards disappeared very fast, but then the campaign slowed down over the following 3-4 days. It soon became clear we needed to do a more careful assessment of costs, and make Narata available for backers at much lower costs. Previously one deck went for $35 dollars total ($25 for the deck, $10 for shipping). This time around the deck itself will go for $15, and shipping (for the US) will be $5 only. Shipping everywhere else will be $15.
Here’s a graphic of how a $20 total donation (including US shipping) breaks down.
This of course means we’ll have to ship a lot more decks in order to be able to continue producing Narata cards (see Narata Expansion Decks, above), but we are certain once we get our product to amazon.com we will be solidly established in the storyteller marketplace.
Risks and challenges
The main risk in connection with creating Narata Storytelling Cards was underestimating the work involved. Therefore we decided to create more than half of the cards before launching on Kickstarter (almost 80 of the 100 cards are already finished), so that we felt the project was well in hand, and also so that we would be able to send out the decks to backers much more quickly. And if we reach either of our stretch goals, which will mean we will send out either 150 or 200 cards, we have already scripted all of these cards.
We will watch closely how the campaign does, and if it becomes clear the Kickstarter community will honor us with reaching our stretch goals, we will continue working throughout the campaign so that the waiting time will be minimal. We will update backers on our progress throughout.
The stretch goals have been determined so that we will have sufficient funds to spend the time needed to continue to create great cards.
We feel we have already met the challenges and minimized the risks.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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