Updated: May 21
Stuck at home with nothing to do? Getting tired of just rereading books and binge-watching TV all day? Storytelling comes in more forms than just novels and movies! Here are five unique forms of storytelling, entertainment, and creative expression for you to try while at home…
When most people talk about creative writing, they are typically referring to short stories or even novels, but screenwriting is another fun and unique form of storytelling that can allow people to express themselves in a creative medium. What is unique about screenwriting is that you are supposed to find visual ways to portray what a character is thinking or feeling instead of having access to their literal thoughts. There are plenty of online resources to learn about proper formatting for screenplays, and there are many screenplays of movies out there for you to read and study. Just go onto Google and type your favorite movie and the word “screenplay” and perhaps it is available online! Make sure you aren’t just reading a transcript of the film because you will miss out on all of the stylistic nuances within the real screenplay. You may even find an older draft of your favorite movies and might discover some scenes that may have eventually been cut or rewritten. Celtx and Writerduet are two great free programs for you to get started with. If there’s a story in your heart you’ve always thought would be best expressed through the medium of cinema, then now is your time to get started! Check out Syd Field's "Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting" to learn the basics of screenwriting, or consider joining our “Secrets of Screenwriting” course to receive professional feedback and loads of support!
Tabletop Role-Playing Games
Most people think that they would have no interest in tabletop role-playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons, but these types of games are surprisingly super entertaining and unique forms of storytelling that have a little bit of something for everyone! In many respects, the goal of tabletop RPGs isn’t to win a game, but rather to collaboratively tell an interesting story with your friends and to have a fun time! While most people are familiar with the fantasy games D&D and Pathfinder, there are also options that explore other genres such as Call of Cthulhu and Monsterhearts. Check out the Critical Role YouTube channel to see what a character-driven and heavily narrative-focused game of D&D can look like when the players are invested in their characters and want to tell a fascinating story together. If you want to play at home you can join Roll20 for free. Also, kids are welcome to sign up for our monthly D&D campaign which is normally in-person, but we are currently doing online! If you’re interested in collaborative, character-driven forms of storytelling then tabletop RPGs are the games for you!
Video Game Development
Ever wanted to make your very own video game? While it may take many years of study and practice to be capable of designing games from scratch, there are fortunately many systems out there that just about anyone can pick up and start designing cool and unique games with! RPG maker is a good option for those who enjoy classic Japanese role-playing video games. Dreams is a PS4 exclusive that recently came out which is also worth looking into if you own that console. On YouTube, you can see the wild creations that people have already made in the one month it has been out. The channel Elca Gaming is growing a following of people excited to play his Avatar game of which we can see his development process every step of the way. Whether you’re a longtime gamer or have never played a game in your life, these game engines are easy to learn and fun to use!
This next form of storytelling is probably the easiest to create on this list because all you need is a microphone and the ability to passionately talk about literally any topic you want! Are you a cinephile or lover of another cool hobby? Just pop yourself down by yourself or with a friendly co-host, and start talking about why you love your hobby and anything interesting that pops into your head. Want to do something a bit more in-depth? True crime podcasts are also very popular. Research all the details of some heinous crime that has been keeping you up all night and then present the information at a pace that keeps the audience engaged all the way through almost as if they are solving the crime with you! After you record you can add some sound effects and music or just keep it raw and then upload it to all the go-to podcast streaming services. Need some inspiration? Check out our “Scribes of the Round” podcast we are just starting! It features local authors discussing literature.
Lastly on this list we have songwriting. Ever dream of performing your own songs in front of crowds of people? Well, now’s a good time to take the first steps towards achieving that goal! For some it will be easier to write lyrics while others will have an easier time composing the music itself. Don’t worry if you can’t sing or have never played an instrument in your life. Everybody can write down some lyrics they find beautiful. Need some inspiration? Listen to your favorite songs and figure out what makes you love them so much. Is it the catchy tempo or the witty lyrics? Try to emulate the components you love into your own songs! When we get back into the normal swing of things, join us for our Bard Bistro songwriter gatherings to let us hear what you’ve been working on!
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