‘Roll Your Role’ is Now on YouTube!

So, the turnout wasn’t the best, but there was a lot going on that day. There was a last-minute post-election discussion in the auditorium and a union meeting, both at the same exact time as my talk. It went pretty well, though. I was way less nervous once I got started, and I even got a few laughs during the talk portion (it’s not all that easy to hear in the video).

The first 15 minutes of the video are me reading a prepared speech that includes a story from my childhood and a plea for everyone to stay creative and flex their imaginations often. This is the more entertaining part and could be enjoyed by anyone. The last 35-40mins apply more to teachers and writers, but I’d recommend anything I talk about to anyone interested in storytelling.

After the prepared speech, I demonstrate a few creative writing techniques and exercises. I walk the audience through my evolution from basic character building exercises to using Rory’s Story Cubes in the classroom to my own narrative building cards (which I call CopyWrite). I end with a quick demonstration of the pen-and-paper role-playing game Fiasco.

Please feel free to share. I hope you like it!

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‘Roll Your Role: Writing With Cards & Dice’ Lecture

fiasco

fiasco

Hello, world. It’s been a really long time since I updated my own personal blog. I’ve been writing for Nerd Much?, Pop Culture Beast, and BuddyTV a lot as well as teaching 3 classes and a weekly writing workshop, so I’ve been very busy. Anyway, the reason I’m writing this blog post today is to share the news that I will be presenting a TED talk-esque lecture on the SUNY Adirondack campus called “Roll Your Role: Writing With Cards & Dice.”

The lecture will be in the Miller Auditorium at 12pm on November 16, and I would really appreciate anybody coming. I’ve just recently been told that refreshments (including wine, I believe) will be served. I’m really hoping to not have to look out into the crowd and just see my fiancée, Loreal, and my mom sitting there—and nobody else. Well, I’m bribing my students with extra credit if they go, so maybe that will help. Also, I’ve bugged Loreal into recording the event with the brand new HD camera she won. I plan to upload a video of the talk to my website, and anywhere else that will have it, after the event.

Lastly, I just want to give a little info on what I will be talking about in case anybody is interested. “Roll Your Role” is a name I came up with that is inspired by pen & paper RPGs, specifically one called Fiasco. These games are great interactive tools for writing and teaching how to write. I use several different types of interactive writing games from Rory’s Story Cubes to the aforementioned Fiasco to my own 5 deck system of cards that I created. I’ve made over 100 cards with creative writing elements that fall into categories such as plot, setting, character, etc. I will demo the story cubes, Fiasco, and my own writing game—which I call “CopyWrite”—as well as talk about how these things can be used to generate ideas for one’s own writing or to teach otherwise disinterested students how to love creative writing.

Wish me luck. And please feel free to contact me with any questions and let me know if you’ll be attending. I’d love to see you there!

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The 5 Narrative Mistakes That Make Me Cringe

ShortStory

I was thinking about this the other day when I saw some of these issues in a movie. There are several storytelling mistakes that make me cringe, but I was thinking they must come from somewhere if they are making it into the TV shows and movies we love. If we aren’t taught these lessons as students then we’ll go on to make cliché movies in which these things happen then other people will grow up seeing said movies and make the same mistakes as writers — and the cycle continues.

ShortStory

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