Story Engine Review
First of all, a disclaimer: I am not receiving any form of compensation for this review. It is purely opinion. This review comes from a very pleased writer who spent a month struggling to start her new novel.
Today, I’d like to introduce you to an excellent resource for writer’s block: Story Engine. Story Engine is a set of cards that you can organize several different ways to create the basis for your story. There are three expansion decks for Horror, Fantasy, and Science Fiction prompts. On top of that, there are six boosters—Cyberpunk, Dystopian, Eldritch Horror, Mythology, Post-Apocalyptic, and Steampunk. Naturally, I bought the entire set.
So the cards consist of Agents, Engines, Aspects, Anchors, and Conflicts. You rearrange the cards in certain orders to create your ideal story and break free from that horrible writer’s block. Personally, I spent a month agonizing over a novel before purchasing this deck. Within thirty minutes, I found cards that built the perfect basis for my novel. Of course, you don’t have to stick with the prompt you get from these cards. You can complicate your story as much as you want. These simply provide a starting point.
The actual cards are beautiful, but I bought the PDF version and printed it in black and white. So while I can’t speak much on the quality of the cards, the ones I printed on cardstock are nice and lovely despite their lack of color.
So first, the Agent. This card is your character. Simply rotate the card for the character you’d prefer to write about. This particular agent is from one of the fantasy expansion packs or boosters.
Next, the Engine. This card is your character’s purpose, desire, etc. This is the driving force behind your character.
Third, the Anchor. This is the setting or item that is integral to the plot of your story. Your character’s driving force involves the Anchor. This particular anchor is from one of the horror expansion packs or boosters.
Fourth, the Conflict. What great story lacks conflict? This one is self-explanatory. The card is upside-down because I liked the conflict on the bottom more.
Finally, the Aspect. Aspects are cards that describe agents and anchors.
There are many ways to organize the cards, but I prefer to shuffle, draw random cards, and organize them this way:
Right now, everything at Story Engine is on sale. The entire set of nearly 500 cards on PDF only cost me around $30.00, and then printing them in black and white at Office Depot cost me about $16.00. I totally recommend these cards to any struggling writer, LARPers, D&D enthusiasts, or anyone else in need of character or story building. You can order your deck or PDF copy by clicking this link.