Get ready for Workshop Deck, a self-guided tool for writing and finishing your book

by Peter Chiykowski

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In development for release in summer 2023, The Story Engine: Workshop Deck is designed to supercharge your creative process through daily writing exercises to help you start your story, hone your craft, understand your process, and build the habits and momentum to finish the story you've always wanted to tell. 

Digital mockup of The Story Engine: Workshop Deck box design.

Whether you're...

  • A new writer looking for inspiration and exercises to get started...
  • A forever DM who wants to fall back in love with planning D&D campaigns...
  • A teacher looking to hook students on a love of writing...
  • A veteran novelist expanding your creative toolbox while refining a work in progress...

...Workshop Deck provides an adaptable blueprint to help you enrich your creative time and reach your goals. 

“It’s one of my favourite ways to get unstuck, brainstorm, and remember why I love writing.” —C. L. Clark, Ignyte Award-winning author of The Unbroken

If the original Story Engine Deck is an open-ended toolbox for creating story prompts, then the new Workshop Deck is a writer's workshop-in-a-box: a self-guided system of creative prompts, writing challenges, plotting exercises, reflection activities, and planning aides to turn your daily or weekly writing habits into a blueprint for reaching long-term goals.

The deck is still in early development, and the focus of that development is to help you:
  • Hone specific skills like writing dialog, developing characters, introducing conflict, describing scenes, crafting sentences, building tension, generating ideas, varying word choice, structuring stories, and more
  • Plot a novel, D&D campaign, screenplay, comic script, long-form narrative, or fiction collection
  • Write more often and more mindfully
  • Understand your creative process more fully
  • Enjoy your writing more and connect with the intrinsic rewards of spending time with your own words, characters, stories, and ideas

The Story Engine: Workshop Deck is a totally standalone system, but fans of the original Story Engine story-prompting cards and Deck of Worlds worldbuilding cards can enhance specific prompts and exercises with new ideas and story elements drawn from their existing decks.

Digital mockup of the working design for Warm-Up cards and Tune-Up cards.

Workshop Deck will feature 4 types of cards.

  • Warm-Up cards provide quick exercises to bypass writer's block and jumpstart daily practice.
  • Tune-Up cards provide challenges for fine-tuning works-in-progress while strengthening specific writing skills.
  • Blueprint cards provide ideas for creating engaging scenes and blueprints for plotting long-form story arcs like novels and D&D campaigns.
  • Insight cards provide reflection exercises for understanding your creative process and staying motivated.

The names and roles of these card types may shift as we continue development and testing.

Digital mockup of the working design for Blueprint cards and Insight cards.

Workshop Deck will come with a supporting guidebook.

The Workshop Deck's accompanying guidebook will likely be a heftier resource than the guidebooks for The Story Engine and Deck of Worlds
It will lay out a short series of initial planning exercises to help you draft a schedule and creative plan for writing sessions structured around exercises drawn from the 4 card types. We are making sure your planning can be customized to fit your process, needs, and goals:

  • Write daily, a few times a week, or just once a week
  • Try short writing sessions, long writing sessions, or a combination of both
  • Start new stories, tune-up old stories, or plan long narrative arcs
  • Reflect on your process, celebrate your milestones, or just keep writing
“...built to fuel the creative fire within Dungeon Masters, writers and teachers.” —Forbes Magazine

The goal of The Story Engine: Workshop Deck is to help writers and storytellers (re)discover the joys of writing as they explore their skills and work toward long-term goals.

The project is set to launch in summer 2023 and is in the early stages of development. Project details may change over the coming year.

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