The best improv and writing tool ever

Are you stuck for ideas for your scenes and stories? Want a tool to help you start now, with no thinking required? Want to instantly find a character, activity, situation and sense of urgency?

This might be the tool for you!

In my opinion it is the best improv and writing tool ever.

I found it by accident while improv-swotting for the Wurzburg Improv Festival. I haven’t improvised for a while, so was searching for a way to practice by myself, before I meet other improvisers and ruin their lives.

After reading a wonderful article on improv by Dan Goldstein, I was inspired by the idea of starting scenes with an ATTITUDE, and an ACTIVITY on a SPECIAL DAY.

Then I remembered the fantastic Brainstormer App! Simply input three lists and they will display on three spinning wheels. Spin each wheel and receive a unique random scene-starter!


Here are some of the lists I used:

Mischievous, depressed, angry, jealous, moaning, virtuous, vain, suspicious, confused, elated, drunk, grieving…

Dancing, hiding, tickling, writing, drinking, polishing, practising, copying, stretching, jogging…

Olympic final, anniversary of Hitler’s death, our wedding day, the day I admit I love your brother, your birthday, grandma’s 100th birthday, driving test, the day I get knighted…

So a random combination could be:

…which prompted this scene: the Saudi Arabian team have entered us at short notice into the Diving Finals. We have never dived before! So I put on a video of Tom Daley and we watch and figure out how to dive like a champion!

I tried combination after combination and really enjoyed creating an entrance and first line for the scene it prompted. It also occurred to me how awesome a tool this was for writer’s block or for story generation.

You can make your own categories and lists using the Brainstormer App. If you don’t have a smartphone or iPad, make cards, or simply print your lists, close your eyes and point!

Well happy storytelling, folks!

Let’s see if this simple tool makes us better writers and improvisers : )

Creative thinking games and exercises 1 – freeing the imagination

Want a toolkit for your ideas?  Over the next few weeks I will be uploading .pdfs of my favourite creative thinking games and exercises.

I have organised my collection of games into four categories: freeing the imagination, generating ideas, evaluating ideas, and clarifying ideas.

Hopefully this will enable you to find the right creative game you need for the job!

I will also add on a fifth instalment which will cover complete thinking frameworks.

As you will find when your read the .pdfs, some games are for individuals, some for teams.  Some are desk-based and some are very physical.  Some are for your mind, and some for mind and body.  All of them are fun and will get your creative juices flowing nicely!

The first instalment, Creative Thinking Games 1 – Freeing The Imagination, is a collection of games that are great to play before you brainstorm, or when you need to warm up your creativity.

Be sure to check back for the next instalment on generating ideas.  And by the way, what are your favourite thinking games?