Let the Good Times Roll

[box options]Today’s post is a guest post by Jim Woods. He is a writer, blogger and guitar junkie in Nashville, TN. He is also a chocolate chip cookie addict, but who isn’t right? You can read his blog here and find him on Twitter @unknownjim. [/box]


Tree. Arrow. Bee. Fish. Light Bulb. Turtle. Sad. Building. Footprint. What do all of these things have in common? Not much at all. But those are my results on my first roll with my Rory’s Story Cubes.


How do these work?

It’s completely up to you. The dice are a fun tool to give you some new creative ideas. Something to help you jumpstart your creativity.

Every now and then, it’s nice to take a shortcut, right? (Nod your head in agreement here please.)

Here’s what Mr.Brain told me when I rolled those images. “What if I wrote a story where all animals (bees, fish, and turtles) started to change (light bulb) and attack us. We all would have to go to shelter (building) and that would suck (sad face).”


Don’t judge, just listen to Mr. Brain.

Okay, I know, that sounds a lot like many other man vs. nature horror movies. Remember, you can’t judge or stop during the creative process. On my second roll, I decided just to roll three dice. This is creativity in action, so you get to make up the rules as you go. I got an arrow, a hand, and a castle. Mr. Brain said “obviously mankind had to fight back and not just sit in buildings and be sad. How would mankind fight back? With weapons of course.”

Roll three turned up saying something, castle and fire hydrant. Mr. Brain said “roll again dude.”


On to roll four. Magnifying glass, light bulb and eye. Mr. Brain told me “maybe there is a scientific angle to look at as to why the animals are going crazy. Perhaps there is a cure!”


Roll five I got a clock, pyramids and spooky shadow behind a person. Mr. Brain told me “obviously this means there is no scientific explanation for the animals attacking everyone. It was just like the ancient plagues in the Bible. As time went by, the animals just went away and quit killing everyone.” The end.


You got to start somewhere. I’d recommend picking these cubes up (there’s even a Rory’s Story Cubes app for iPhone), or you can even make own by making some doodles on paper and pull them out of a hat. Remember, there are no rules for creativity. Just have some fun!


What story would you make if you rolled the dice in the pictures above?


Author: Andrew Zahn

I'm a son, husband, dad, business owner, actor and good sleeper/eater. On this blog, I pave a highway for creative growth by providing food, water, and shelter for those wishing to live, work, and play with creative zest.

  • What an AWESOME idea! Thanks for sharing this Jim! I might have to pick some of these up. Just reading through your process was fun and I found myself thinking about what story I’d tell with your rolls. You want to talk about a fun, unique way to write creatively?! Here you go! Thanks again Jim!

    • So glad you enjoyed it Dave! I must warn you though, with a toddler in the house, keeping these dice in one place is NOT an easy feat! She likes to hide them from me. Let’s just say I haven’t had all of the 9 dice together since I did this post 🙂

  • Hurray! I love these and keep a set on my desk as an unblocking tool. I believe they make a “Zombie” extension pack, too!

    • Nice. I don’t know about the Zombie extension pack. Does it come with all weapons?? If there is a Chuck Norris cube, obviously that would be A LOT OF fun. (Note to self, make my own Chuck Norris cube by putting a post-it over one of the dice!)

  • Todd Foley

    Jim, this is a FANTASTIC idea! I love creative strategies like this. So simple, yet (I imagine) incredibly effective. Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Thanks Todd! My pleasure. I was surprised how easy it was to come up with something with these and the fact you can get it for your iPod or iPhone makes it EVEN cooler. (That is the one way I won’t lose the dice. Ha!)

  • I’ve never heard of these! Pretty cool. I also love the iPhone app version…I’m checking it out now.

    Thanks, Jim!

    • You bet! It’s fun and easy to do. Just please don’t copy my story Lizzie haha 🙂

  • I LOVE this idea! Thanks for sharing. I need to pick up some of those dice myself.

    • You bet Jason. There is another version that is Rory’s Story Cubes Actions that look fun too. I was happy to find out today that the cubes are $5 on Amazon.

  • I enjoy the idea as well, Jim! I’ve been creatively “stuck” so many times that a device like this could go a long way. It would probably work better than my current method (staring at a blank page and praying something will pop up if I just keep staring).

    • Thanks Stephen! I agree, the dice are more productive than just staring at the page (although we have all tried that haven’t we!!!!!!!)

  • Excellent concept.

    • Thanks-I hope you can create something using this concept.

  • Jamie Kocur

    What a fun idea. I like playing with magnetic poetry sometimes when words get stuck in my brain.

    • Jim

      I’d highly recommend them Jamie. I was surprised how much fun they really are! There is a Rory’s Story Cubes Actions set as well.