How to Write With Dice

Story CubesSome days, it can feel like trying to write is like trying to squeeze a watermelon through a pin-sized hole in your brain. I’ve set myself the challenge to write for one hour a day this year, which so far is mostly working, but there are some days when I feel like I’d rather shoot myself in the head then stare at a blank screen with heavy eyes for 60 minutes. But I still do it.

On days when I want to hang myself I force myself to write by playing with dice. Yes, dice. They were a Christmas present from my wise older brother and they are the best thing he’s ever given me (sorry Bruv.) They’re called Rory’s Story Cubes, and are designed to be inspiration for stories as well as a fun game with kids. Of course I’m not a kid, I’m not using them for a game, this is serious business. Inside each magic box is nine dice, with an individual picture on each side. Some have action words, like a man running or jumping, and some are just random picture, light a light bulb or a moon.

To play:

1. Take three dice.

2. Roll them one at a time.

3. Use each image to create a beginning, middle and ending of a story. If you’re feeling adventurous you can roll all nine dices and create a nine step story, completing an elaborate, detailed story.

It could look something like this.

Dice #1: Dice #1

There was once a man who was stuck in outer-space, looking down on the world.



Dice #2Dice #2

The good thing was, he had super eye sight and could watch the people moving around on earth below. He had fallen in love with a beautiful girl who he couldn’t take his eyes off. But no matter how much he waved, she never seemed to look up at him.


Dice #3Dice #3

He searched all the planets until he found an arrow. He threw it to earth, as hard as he could, piercing her through the heart. As she was dying, she fell to the ground, looking up at the sky, and finally saw the face of the man she instantly loved.

The End.

It’s okay, you don’t have to say it, I’m aware this isn’t a master piece. But at least it’s something on a page on a day when I might have had nothing. And who knows, one day I might look back at the stories that came from the dice, and find there’s something that can be used again. So happy dice-rolling and happy writing.


About Nici West

Nici West currently lives in Manchester with her boyfriend and her two punk rocker guinea pigs. She recently graduated from Manchester University with an MA in Creative Writing and spends her time writing and working on writing projects. She wishes there were more guinea pigs in her life.
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2 Responses to How to Write With Dice

  1. I love Rory’s Story cubes. I’ve had them for a couple of years. I have the original ones not the action ones.

    • Nici West says:

      The box I have is actually a mix of original and action dice – my brother sent me and my boyfriend two packs for Christmas! I think it might actually work better this way!

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