Story Spine



What are the goals:

  • To gain some experience in creative writing prompt exercises
  • To learn about basic narrative and improvisation techniques
  • To write about yourself and your experiences

Social matrix:

  • eg. Individual work




  • None needed except paper/notebook & writing/typing tool

Introduction (5 mins)

  • This will be a step by step creative writing exercise exploring a 'story spine'. This approach is created by Ken Adams as a warm up activity for Improv Theatre. It was found on Beyond Digital Storytelling webpages as a prompt for Story Frame ideas.

Activity (? mins)

  1. Have groups or individuals fill in the following details.

Write in sequence content for..

  1. Once upon a time..
  2. Everyday..
  3. But one day..
  4. Because of that..
  5. Because of that..
  6. Because of that..
  7. Until finally..
  8. Ever since then..
  9. The moral of the story..

Each part can be illustrated with 1-3 images.

Discussion (15 mins)

What did we learn from each other?

The story spine structure includes..

  • A Base for the story (Once upon a time and Everyday),
  • Change: the reason or catalyst for the story to exist (But one day)
  • The narrative, the consequences that come from the catalyst (Because of that)
  • The climax (Until finally)
  • A conclusion (Ever since then)
  • A wrapup and summary (The moral)
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