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  • Writer's pictureKevin Cordi

Working with a partner as you play with building your story

Permission 2 Play ---Let the play resume

Have you considered how valuable play is in working with stories? After doing a workshop in Maryland on play and stories, they wanted to continue the good work they started. I wrote these steps so they could consider their work. I share these with you. The best work is when you continue to find partners to engage in the process.

Here are some steps that you might consider as you continue to meet and play with stories.

(Picture by Val Vesa at Unsplash)

Basic Tenets:

You are there to play with stories. You are not working for completeness, but instead ways to discover and explore how you might make a story work in places that you determine are 'playable parts.' (This can also be the whole story.)

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

Play is work. However, when you add partners, you also add new voices to the play, the work becomes part of community of deep listeners and responders to your story.

Be open to new ideas. Sometimes the play direction does not immediately seem clear, but with continual play, new decisions can be made.

Photo by Nicolas Ladino Silva on Unsplash

Start with deep listening and from there, play with your story ideas. You must first deeply listen to the needs of your play partner and from this, openly decide to play with ideas or whole stories. Deeply listening only leads to directed play.

Reflect afterwards with your partner on what the play did or did not establish for you. What would you change? What would you extend or keep? Keep a play idea journal that you draw from when you continue play.

Photo by Benjamin Davies on Unsplash

Select a Consistent time and date to meet each week or month. The playful work must be consistent. It develops a deeper community.


Establish a protocol:


Talk with your deep listener partner about their needs, personal and story needs with the session.

Agree to be open to play.

Start with small intervals and reflections on the play. Work up to longer bouts of play.

We would love to know how you use play with your story process.

Kevin D. Cordi is the author of Playing with Stories (2014) Story Crafting for Writers, Teachers, and Other Imaginative Thinkers.

He believes play makes real connections in story development. You can find out more at

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