The Writing Challenge
You're on a journey through the forest. It's a simple trip, but adventure awaits!
To lead a protagonist through the forest, resolving encounters with characters from tales of old
What you'll need
Your writing weapon of choice, e.g. pen and paper, computer, or phone (if you're writing on a device, you might want to use this Google Docs Game Sheet)
A six-sided die (tip: if you don't have a physical die, you can use the Google Dice Roller or a mobile phone app)
A copy of the Encounter Table (you may download/print a copy of the whole game)
Character Sheet: Before you begin the game, let's build your character who'll be journeying through the forest. All you have to do is to answer the following questions in what you think will tickle your imagination the most:
What is your name? (Example: Juan de Leon)
What's your occupation? What do you do for a living? (Example: Shoemaker)
What is your very special talent? (Example: I play the violin)
What's the most reliable item that you always carry around? (Example: a cooking pot)
What's waiting for you at the other end of the forest? (Example: a castle)
What happened that made you go through the forest in the first place? (Example: the Queen of the forest invited me to tea)
Journeying Through the Forest: With your Character Sheet ready, you're ready for adventure! Below is an Encounter Table with 30 encounters that you may or may not experience as you go through the forest. This is how you journey:
Roll a six-sided die. Starting with the first event, count down according to the result of the die roll to discover what event your character will encounter. (Example: if you roll a 5, your character experiences encounter 5)
Write down the number of the encounter, as well as the encounter itself. (Example: write "5, Juan sees a little pig building a house of cake and candy.")
Answer this question: what will your character do in that encounter? Write down your answer, using any or all of your information on your Character Sheet to move the encounter forward. (Example: "Juan tells the little pig that he's visiting the Queen for tea. The little pig gives Juan a piece of cake to give to the Queen.")
After resolving the encounter, roll the six-sided die for the next encounter. The next encounter will be the sum of your die roll and the number of the previous encounter. (Example: if your last encounter is a 5 and you rolled a 4, your character experiences encounter 9.)
Repeat steps 2 to 4 until you reach the last number of the encounter table. (If your last die roll + encounter exceeds 30, you will treat it as 30.). This means your character has reached the other edge of the forest.
Write what your character will do once they've reached the other end of the forest. Draw inspiration from your Character Sheet and your different encounters in the forest. (Example: "Juan sits down with the Queen for tea. He gives her the cake from the little pig and plays his violin as she eats her cake.")
Don't forget to write The End. And a title for your adventure.
Deliberate detours: On occasion, you may want to go out of your way to further explore encounters. In such a case, instead of rolling a die, choose an encounter from the table, then follow steps 2 to 4 for the journaling. Just be aware: deliberate detours can either extend your stay in the forest or suddenly bring you to the other side of the forest. Detour if you're confident that there's a worthwhile adventure in your sights.
A note on writing the encounters: Allow your writing to be as short or as long as you like. Let it be as serious, scary, or silly as you want to make it. Have fun!
Guidelines for public posting
You may post your output any way you like or just keep it to yourself. But, if you'd like to benefit from the Story Sandbox community, you'd need to help us see your work! Please follow the guidelines for the respective platform you're using.
A few notes:
By publicly posting your exercise output, tagging the official Story Sandbox account, and the using the challenge's hashtag, you give Story Sandbox permission to repost your output on its website and social media channels, along with proper attribution.
Afraid of posting because your output might be reused without attribution? Create a poster image with your own branding. It won't stop every idea thief, but it might deter some.