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Re-calculating “Deal a Story”

Cleone Reed archetypes character development Deal a Story Improvisational group Mathy Jokes 4 Mathy Folks Patrick Vennebush plot development story line Sue Viders writers' conference writers' group writing class writing coach writing teacher

How often have you missed a turn and the GPS said, “Re-calculating?” Obviously I heard this many times as the voice so clearly reverberates in my head. When it comes to knowing how many possible hands one can draw from Deal a Story by Sue Viders, is it really important? The only reason it is important for me to write about again is to be in integrity. After doing some re-calculating, Patrick Vennebush, author of Mathy Jokes 4 Mathy Folks wrote to me, “The downside is that it's significantly lower than the number I previously gave you. The upside is that it's still 100,000 times more than the 1,000,001 estimate given on the box top.”

A few days ago, I wrote that five quadrillion stories could potentially come out of playing with the contents on the card. And that still holds. But upon re-calculating the actual possible hands one could draw from the deck, the number is 3,523,215,360 (3.5 billion) combinations not using any wild cards.Using up to five wild cards, the number is  112,742,891,520 ways (over 112 billion).

I suppose that the numbers really don’t matter here. What matters is that when people have Deal a Story in their hands that they ENJOY the process. It is FUN to play and let the imagination go wild, whether in an improvisational group, a writers’ group, a writing class, or working in solitude. Deal a Story is a teaching tool to teach character development, the archetypes, plot development, etc.  

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