Summer break is almost over for my kids. We took a trip to the Doseum last week. This is a hands-on kids’ museum in San Antonio. They have such great areas where kids can build floating contraptions, play with sound and light, do math Olympics and do creative storytelling among other things.
In the creative section where kids can draw, play out a scene with a green screen, dress up as a character or do their own video hero’s journey, there is this huge wheel that creates wild story ideas. It is called Spin A Tale.
It basically is three wheels that you spin and from this you can come up with hundreds of different story ideas.
The outer rim is the main character. Here are some of the ideas.
- Be an Alien
- Be a Detective
- Be a One-Eyed Pirate
- Be a Deep-Sea Diver
- Be Ferocious Animal
- Be a Gnome
The next circle give you your problem/action. Here are a few of the options.
- Who wakes up
- Who answers a distress call
- Who falls under a spell
- Who wins a vacation
- Who meets her or his double
- Who has a pair of magic glasses
And finally the inner wheel give you the setting of the story. Here are a few of the choices.
- In the deep, dark woods
- On an alien planet
- On a deserted island
- In a windswept desert
- In the ancient temple
- In a sunken ship
So you can write a story about an alien who wakes up in a deep, dark woods or maybe about a one-eyed pirate who wins a vacation to a windswept desert. And where you (or your child) go with this writing prompt is totally up to your imagination.
I am not saying you should use this type of wheel to decide on the plot for your next novel. But it is an interesting tool to get your creative juices flowing and could be a way to help you when you are struggling with writer’s block.
For those of you not in San Antonio, there are websites that offer the random plot idea generators but there not as fun as the Spin A Tale wheel.