Friday, March 26, 2010

Unconventional Story Writing

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Back in the past when I was relatively more free, I enjoyed writing short stories related to science fiction themes and more recently, I've been playing around with other genres as well. I also experimented with some unconventional strategies that I have seen or thought of, here's just a list of them.

1) Chronologically backwards.
I've ever seen a story about some sort of time-travelling device which essentially reversed the flow of time, such that the person actually went through a lot with another person, 'before' actually meeting the person. It is something very curious and intriguing, because in a sense, you are left in suspense, for something that has happened 'in the past'. I have not yet attempted to write a story like that, but yes, it is something to consider.

2) Breaking the 4th wall.
Sometimes, in films or cartoons, the characters 'break the 4th wall', and end up having a conversation with the viewer. Good examples I've seen are mainly cartoons for pre-school kids, where the main character regularly talks to the intended audience. There are also some comedies where the characters suddenly become aware that they are in a show and often tell the audience to 'forget' their scenes of embarrassment. Those really make me laugh.
So I had a thought, why not try to 'break the 4th wall' in a short story as well? I have written stories whereby the character scolds the author, me, for making him end up in a bad state, and then, depending on my mood, I sometimes help out the character or make him end up in an even worse state. Talk about author-character relations eh...

3) Picture story
Not too unconventional, but it was an idea that I had last night. This was actually inspired by my own planning for the creativity session in Symposium Neue Thinken next Saturday. It would be fun to try surfing the net for certain pictures, related to a certain theme, and some other random pictures, then try to write a story relating all these pictures. Now I bet those seemingly unrelated pictures may just give the story a little juicy twist.

4) Anti-musing
As the name suggests, this story will have a very conventional background. How conventional? The story is based on a day of the author's life. Waking up, brushing his teeth, eating breakfast, going to work/school, going for tests/exams...etc... But then, when the author sits down to write about his day, everything is transformed. Instead of eating breakfast normally, he has to fight off jackals from the underworld to get his scrambled eggs, and instead of going to school normally, he has to fight off evil martians who try to rob his brain of knowledge. Simply put, it is transforming your boring life into a more interesting one. Who knows, after trying out some of this, you may develop new insights into your own life or whatever. (PTN, the examples I used are exaggerations, feel free to try more 'conventional' ones if you want)

5) Deep-thought diving
If you hit a story without planning before hand, you will see somehow that your inspiration gradually increases as you write. It is a very fun and exciting journey which I enjoy. Hence, I often like to jump onto a story on a whim, and as I write, deeper and deeper thoughts and creative insights enter my mind. A conventional method of story writing done in an unconventional way, who knows what wonders you can come up with using this method?

Story writing is not just restricted to the realms of authors and writers. People from different professions may just do well trying out writing as a hobby or an interest. Writing is a good way for me to exercise my creativity and unleash my built-up creative tensions. Perhaps you can try it too? If you have any interesting insights, feel free to share them with me :)

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