Introduction: Tropes Dice
This is an idea for a creativity stimulator to help with writers block or just for amusement.
Step 1: Materials
1 inch diameter wooden dowels
A sanding device (this is a cheapo $20 bench grinder, it'd be much better to use this cool sanding station from Craftsman)
extension chord (for working outdoors)
fine point pen
Step 2: Safety Warning
Sanding the dowels creates very fine dust which must not get into your lungs. Wear a dust mask and work outdoors to minimize dust exposure and also to keep the dust from getting all up inside everything in your house.
Step 3: Grind Down the Sides of the Dowel
The idea is to make a longish octagonal shape.
Start by sanding opposite sides of the dowel till you get a rounded squarish shape.
Then sand the corners down until you have something like an octagon shape.
Step 4: Cut the Shape From the Dowel
Using the saw, cut the octagonal cylinder shape from the dowel.
You may need to sand the cut edges a little more.
Step 5: Write in Your Favorite Tropes
You can write anything on the dice faces, but I wanted to try writing in some of my favorite funny or interesting tropes from tvtropes.org
Step 6: Roll Them and Imagine the Film
Make as many as you want and then roll them and see what interesting combinations occur.
You might want to categorize the dice into characters, scenarios, objects, events, etc. and maybe color code them accordingly.
The most surprising thing to me is how often the combinations remind me of a movie I've already seen! Probably because tvtropes.org is a registry for hollywood cliches, but still it's fun to read and see it all cleverly documented.
My favorite combination so far is: Dug too deep + Crystal Spires and Togas + Merchandise Driven + Moral Guardians + Zen Survivor + Visit By Divorced Dad