Back when it was nice and cold and Christmas was happening, I began to look for presents for people. As always, I found loads of stuff for myself instead.

One of those things was Rory’s Story Cubes. They looked interesting and I thought they might be a nice prezzie for the Not-Girlfriend’s little boy. But the more I looked at them, the more I thought they seemed like something I’d like for myself.

So I bought a bunch of them.

I’m not sure how much use the boy has had from his Story Cubes, but I love playing with my set.

For those who don’t know what Story Cubes are, I shall explain.

In the box you get nine dice but instead of numbers, each die has pictographs. The idea is that you roll your cubes and using the images presented you must form a story. What’s clever about them is that the pictographs are vague enough to allow you to use them either literally or figuratively as you see fit. For example, is a lighting bolt an actual lightning strike or is it a flash of inspiration? Or is it Usain Bolt suddenly turning up to save the day?

It’s up to you.

Some of the images are quite clever. One shows a child being stalked by a monster. But on closer inspection the monster appears to be the child’s own shadow. In another image an office block or block of flats shows only a single light on in the whole building. Every time you sue them you’ll come up with something new.

What's your story?

Here are the cubes as I threw them a moment ago. What kind of story would they suggest to you? You don’t have to use them in the order they appear but you must use them all.

You might prefer to roll them one at a time. If you’re playing in a group or with a friend you might take it in turns to roll one cube each or you might roll all nine and then have the next person roll all nine but have to continue the story.

That’s the best part about Rory’s Story Cubes, it’s entirely up to you how you play them, there are no rules.

You can probably guess that when it comes to procrastination the cubes are the perfect device. After all if you’re going to avoid writing you might as well do something creative. And if it helps your writing, then that’s a bonus. They might even help you to think your way out of a plot hole you’ve dug yourself into.

Anyway, here’s my story using the cubes above:

Once upon a time there was a petty man called Manners. He spent each day say in his ivory tower (tower) looking down on the people he knew. But he started to feel sad (sad face) that he didn’t have any friends. You might say that other people were alien (alien face) to him.

Then he had a bright idea (light bulb), he would leave his tower right away and go to visit the people who lived below him in the gardens. He didn’t fancy going down all those stairs so he pulled on a handy parachute (parachute) and leapt from the window of his tower. He floated down but had no control over where his chute was taking him.

“Look out!” he shouted to a passing tortoise (tortoise), “Get out of the way!”

“I’m trying!” said the tortoise as he moved very slowly to one side. But it was no use, Manners was coming toward him as if he were being pulled by some kind of giant magnet (magnet).

Manners landed with a crash right on top of the poor tortoise who was on his way to the shop to buy more stationery. Manners also loved stationery and they shared many stories of the various pens they each owned.

Soon they were the best of friends (friendly face) and they went to the stationery shop together.

“I’m sorry I spent so long in my ivory tower looking down on you,” said Manners.

“That’s OK,” said the tortoise, “It’s all water under the bridge (bridge).”

The end.

You’re welcome.

And if you want some Story Cubes of your own, and I recommend them to everyone, you can get them here

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