Story Spine Improv Exercise

Story SpineIn this thread at the Story Games forums, improv exercises that might enhance the storytelling effectiveness and internal trust of a gaming group are being discussed. Jonas Ferry suggests one called Story Spine that I like the sound of. In it the participants tell a shared story based on specified phrases. One person starts and then the turn moves around the table.

The phrases are:

– Once upon a time…
– Every day…
– But, one day…
– Because of that…
– Because of that…
– Because of that…
– Until, finally…
– And, ever since then…

So the first person might say “Once upon a time there was a princess who lived in a castle.” The next person continues “Every day she watered the flowers in her garden.” The next person continues “But, one day all the flowers were gone!” And so on until all the phrases have been used. It’s fun to see what the others come up with, and the phrases make the story follow a dramatic arc.

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