print comics

The Story Machine

The Story Machine is an idea-generating device along the lines of surrealist games and devices, a big map of symbols one can randomly explore (using a four-sided D4 to move north, south, east and west) while creating stories.

Rather than generating stories from scratch, it's just for unlocking imaginations by stimulating unpredictable turns of thought. Writers and artists are very habit-driven, so this is one way of breaking those habits (the 24-hour comic is another). There's no fixed meaning for each symbol, just whatever comes to mind: a plot turn, a character moment, a setting, a mood, an object... it's up to you.

The images are rough, but feel free to download a large jpg of the whole map here. It might not be practical for much beyond experimental comics, but it looks cool, so here it is.

Tips: To navigate through the map, a small circular cursor like a scotch tape roll or one of those jar lids with the clear center might be useful. Or just reduce the browser window size to about an inch and a half and scroll to each new icon.

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