More Interesting

Many interactive storytelling activities involve the participants creating their own stories and sharing them with each other. More Interesting goes one step beyond: It asks the participants to edit and embellish each other’s story.

This activity involves writing and rewriting flash stories. These are short short stories that are limited to one side of a 3 x 5 index card.


Each participant writes a flash story on an assigned topic. Later, the participants rewrite the story written by someone else to improve its interest level.


To write and rewrite interesting flash stories


Minimum: 6, divided into 3 groups of 2 each

Maximum: Any number, divided into equal-sized groups of 2 to 6

Best: 20 to 30


30 to 40 minutes


  • Index cards
  • Pens
  • Timer


Divide participants into groups. You should have three or more groups. Each group should contain the same number of participants. Seat the groups at different tables.

Ask each participant to write a short short story. Distribute index cards. Specify the topic and ask each participant to work independently. Assign a 3-minute time limit for writing this story. Tell the participants to keep their short very brief because they are limited to one side of the card.

Ask for an identification number. Blow a whistle after 3 minutes. Ask each participant to write a four-digit number on the top right corner of the card. Request the participants to remember their numbers.

Exchange the stories. Ask the participants at each table to collect everyone’s flash story and pass the collection to the next table. (The collection from the last table go to the first table.)

Ask for rewrites. Direct each participant to randomly pick one of the cards from the previous table and review the flash story carefully. Tell the participant to rewrite the story (on one side of another blank index card) to make it more interesting. Also, ask all participants to place their identification number on the top right corner of this card.

Paper clip the cards. Ask the participants to use a paper clip and attach the original flash story to the rewritten version. Suggest that the written sides of the two cards should face each other so people will not immediately recognize which one is the original and which one is the rewrite.

Exchange the cards. Ask the participants at each table to collect all the paper-clipped pairs of cards and hand them over to the people at the next table. (As before, the cards from the last table go to the first one.)

Score the cards. Ask all the participants at each table to work jointly to review each pair of cards and to distribute 100 points to reflect their interest level. Ask the groups to write the score values on each card and make sure that the two scores add up to 100.

Return to the sender. Ask the participants at each table to collect all the pair of cards (with their scores) and send them two tables back to the people who wrote the original versions.

Conduct a comparison. Ask the participants to compare their original flash story and the revised version. Invite them to identify the writing techniques that made the story more interesting.

Conduct a debriefing discussion. Ask the participants in each group to share their insights about techniques for making a story more interesting.