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Experimental Fiction


Superpride

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Hello, fellow writers!  I'm currently taking another writing class at my university, and one of the requirements for the two short stories that we'll submit during the semester is to try experimenting with our writing.  For my first short story that I submitted last week, I wrote about Filipino witches as if it were a field guide about animals.  Based on the critiques I received from my classmates and professor, my experiment was very well-received.  Also, for my second short story, I intend to write about a main character who dies, and the story will then by narrated by a new main character and so forth.  Thanks to this class, I want to extend this experimentation to future stories I want to publish on this site.  This leads to my question I want to ask you all: have you ever experimented with your stories?  Whether these stories are long or short, have they ever deviated from the traditional way of storytelling, like maybe starting the story with the ending or a write a story in the future tense?  I would really like to know!

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I'm experimenting now, actually.  I'm trying to mix visual elements ("artified" pictures) into my chapters.  The images all have something to do with the scene in which they appear, and sometimes they give the reader a hint of what is to come.  This is something new to me, but I'm sure it's small change for some.  Yet, I like the combination.

 

For example, I attached a picture I've run through the program that I use.  This picture is nestled in the chapter of my story where it is pertinent, and my few test readers enjoy the combination of words and images.

 

This is likely not what you're after, and I'm sorry for that.  I'm not exactly breaking barriers here.  You're seeking to push your craft, and that's admirable.  I wish you luck with it.

Wine Glasses (1).jpg

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I have a future project that is a bit of an experiment for me. I'm doing a story within a story, in a niche genre called LitRPG. You have the "real world" and the "in-game world" written from the MC's perspective in 1st or 3rd PoV. It's filled with game jargon, stats, and the like. The Speilberg movie called Ready Player One based on the book of the same name is an excellent example of LitRPG in action.

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1 minute ago, Wayne Gray said:

I'm experimenting now, actually.  I'm trying to mix visual elements ("artified" pictures) into my chapters.  The images all have something to do with the scene in which they appear, and sometimes they give the reader a hint of what is to come.  This is something new to me, but I'm sure it's small change for some.  Yet, I like the combination.

 

For example, I attached a picture I've run through the program that I use.  This picture is nestled in the chapter of my story where it is pertinent, and my few test readers enjoy the combination of words and images.

 

This is likely not what you're after, and I'm sorry for that.  I'm not exactly breaking barriers here.  You're seeking to push your craft, and that's admirable.  I wish you luck with it.

 

I think that's really cool that you incorporate pictures into your story, which reminds me of one book I read that basically took a significant quote from each chapter and made them into the title of the chapters which gave the readers a hint on what will happen.  I actually thought about incorporating pictures of the witches in my short story to make it more like a field guide.  My professor actually recommended that as well, so for my revision I might include those pictures.

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5 minutes ago, BHopper2 said:

I have a future project that is a bit of an experiment for me. I'm doing a story within a story, in a niche genre called LitRPG. You have the "real world" and the "in-game world" written from the MC's perspective in 1st or 3rd PoV. It's filled with game jargon, stats, and the like. The Speilberg movie called Ready Player One based on the book of the same name is an excellent example of LitRPG in action.

 

That's so cool!  I'm actually thinking about a project similar to that.  I want to write a story based on a video game in which the main character is the video game character that they are controlling through virtual reality.  I want to use a real video game for this; however, I'm having trouble finding a single-player game that lets players create their own content.  There is a video game called Dreams that's exclusive for the PlayStation 4, but it has yet to be released.  I might use LittleBigPlanet 3 until then.

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12 minutes ago, Superpride said:

 

That's so cool!  I'm actually thinking about a project similar to that.  I want to write a story based on a video game in which the main character is the video game character that they are controlling through virtual reality.  I want to use a real video game for this; however, I'm having trouble finding a single-player game that lets players create their own content.  There is a video game called Dreams that's exclusive for the PlayStation 4, but it has yet to be released.  I might use LittleBigPlanet 3 until then.

There are a few LitRPG's I could recommend.

Luke Chmilenko's Ascend Online series is one of my favorites.

If you're on Reddit, check out this Sub: https://www.reddit.com/r/litrpg/

And a recent topic from there about the Top 10 LitRPG books based on fans opinions.

 

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Just now, BHopper2 said:

There are a few LitRPG's I could recommend.

Luke Chmilenko's Ascend Online series is one of my favorites.

If you're on Reddit, check out this Sub: https://www.reddit.com/r/litrpg/

And a recent topic from there about the Top 10 LitRPG books based on fans opinions.

 

 

Nice!  Thanks for the recommendations, especially since I got a Reddit account just a week ago.

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I recalled another experimental bit of writing I did.

 

Years ago, I was on a forum for the D&D Darksun setting.  I started a Play By Post thread, where folks chimed in with their own characters and how they reacted to the posts which came prior from others.

 

It was wild.  Some could write, some couldn’t, all had a crazy imagination.  I wish that I had saved it, polished it up, and reposted it as a more coherent reading experience for all of the participants.

 

Everybody seemed to have a good time with it.  I know I did.  😊

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On 2/23/2019 at 6:52 PM, Wayne Gray said:

I recalled another experimental bit of writing I did.

 

Years ago, I was on a forum for the D&D Darksun setting.  I started a Play By Post thread, where folks chimed in with their own characters and how they reacted to the posts which came prior from others.

 

It was wild.  Some could write, some couldn’t, all had a crazy imagination.  I wish that I had saved it, polished it up, and reposted it as a more coherent reading experience for all of the participants.

 

Everybody seemed to have a good time with it.  I know I did.  😊

I play a bard in my current D&D campaign. I'm considering turning our adventures into a book written by Miriwen, with poems and songs as well. If I can borrow the DM's notes from the beginning of the campaign (we've been playing this for like a year and a half now so can't really remember everything that happened in the earlier sessions) I'm pretty sure I could do a decent job of it, too. Don't know if I can be bothered when I have so much other stuff to write, though. :P 

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On 2/17/2019 at 10:58 PM, Superpride said:

Hello, fellow writers!  I'm currently taking another writing class at my university, and one of the requirements for the two short stories that we'll submit during the semester is to try experimenting with our writing.  For my first short story that I submitted last week, I wrote about Filipino witches as if it were a field guide about animals.  Based on the critiques I received from my classmates and professor, my experiment was very well-received.  Also, for my second short story, I intend to write about a main character who dies, and the story will then by narrated by a new main character and so forth.  Thanks to this class, I want to extend this experimentation to future stories I want to publish on this site.  This leads to my question I want to ask you all: have you ever experimented with your stories?  Whether these stories are long or short, have they ever deviated from the traditional way of storytelling, like maybe starting the story with the ending or a write a story in the future tense?  I would really like to know!

 

 

Much  of the short fiction I write is experimental in some manner, many of them were written for classes such as yours.

 

Sometimes I set rules to what I write such as every chapter must have the listed elements (which change each chapter) and remain in plot/character etc.  

 

My story series "It Was A..." introduced the main character in the first installment, then the rest of the installments were written WITH OUT him at all, although his actions influenced each other chapter directly.  Sort of a Where's Waldo in literary form.  

 

I have written in first person, second person, third person.... Omni, limited, and strict... past, present, and future...  and while these things seem "normal" for one writer to deal with all of them is... not common.  

 

Experimenting with your craft is how you develop it.  

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Ursula K. Le Guin wrote a series of eight short stories called Half Past Four, all featuring the same characters, set at the same time of day in the same place. But though the characters had the same names, the relationships between them and the stories themselves were different. It started as a writing exercise when she'd switched classes with a friend to take on his poetry students for an afternoon and have them write short stories. She gave them the names of four characters and their relative authority. Most of the poets weren't interested in writing the stories, but Le Guin liked the concept she had come up with, so she went home and did it herself. Same four names, same power dynamic, eight completely different stories feating 32 completely different characters.

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On 2/28/2019 at 1:22 PM, Lugh said:

Much  of the short fiction I write is experimental in some manner, many of them were written for classes such as yours.

 

Sometimes I set rules to what I write such as every chapter must have the listed elements (which change each chapter) and remain in plot/character etc.  

 

My story series "It Was A..." introduced the main character in the first installment, then the rest of the installments were written WITH OUT him at all, although his actions influenced each other chapter directly.  Sort of a Where's Waldo in literary form.  

 

I have written in first person, second person, third person.... Omni, limited, and strict... past, present, and future...  and while these things seem "normal" for one writer to deal with all of them is... not common.  

 

Experimenting with your craft is how you develop it.  

 

That's a very cool idea to have the main character only appear in one chapter but have their actions affect the rest of the story which still makes this character very important.  I overall like the idea of experimenting with fiction and not always going the traditional route since it can get very stale to always write in the same manner, at least for me.  It's always nice to get your creative juices churning and maybe an experiment that seems abnormal right now could be the next greatest thing in the future.

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On 3/3/2019 at 8:08 AM, Thorn Wilde said:

Ursula K. Le Guin wrote a series of eight short stories called Half Past Four, all featuring the same characters, set at the same time of day in the same place. But though the characters had the same names, the relationships between them and the stories themselves were different. It started as a writing exercise when she'd switched classes with a friend to take on his poetry students for an afternoon and have them write short stories. She gave them the names of four characters and their relative authority. Most of the poets weren't interested in writing the stories, but Le Guin liked the concept she had come up with, so she went home and did it herself. Same four names, same power dynamic, eight completely different stories feating 32 completely different characters.

 

Thank you so much for letting us know about these short stories by this author.  The idea is similar to the board game called "Dead of Winter" that has players select a group of survivors to control in a zombie apocalypse which is always random, so it allows the player to create a new story every time about the relationships between these survivors and how they ended up together.  I actually might attempt this myself for my second story in my Fiction Workshop but with a science fiction twist to it, or maybe just zombies like the board game.

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On 2/23/2019 at 12:52 PM, Wayne Gray said:

I recalled another experimental bit of writing I did.

 

Years ago, I was on a forum for the D&D Darksun setting.  I started a Play By Post thread, where folks chimed in with their own characters and how they reacted to the posts which came prior from others.

 

It was wild.  Some could write, some couldn’t, all had a crazy imagination.  I wish that I had saved it, polished it up, and reposted it as a more coherent reading experience for all of the participants.

 

Everybody seemed to have a good time with it.  I know I did.  😊

 

That's so cool!  That reminds me of an activity I do with my writing club in my university which involves us writing a line of a story and then passing it to the next person to write the next line and so on.  Sometimes these stories end with violence or death, but this activity was always fun to do, and we always end up laughing at the direction these stories have taken.  Also, the fact that you used Dungeons & Dragons as the medium to tell this story with others is also really cool along with using a forum as the format.  I think is great to change something like a forum to tell a story, and there was one person who told a horror story through a series of tweets believe it or not.

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On 2/24/2019 at 6:38 PM, Thorn Wilde said:

I play a bard in my current D&D campaign. I'm considering turning our adventures into a book written by Miriwen, with poems and songs as well. If I can borrow the DM's notes from the beginning of the campaign (we've been playing this for like a year and a half now so can't really remember everything that happened in the earlier sessions) I'm pretty sure I could do a decent job of it, too. Don't know if I can be bothered when I have so much other stuff to write, though. :P 

 

That's so cool that you want to use Dungeons & Dragons to tell a story that also includes poems and songs.  I want to do something similar with a game like that, but with science fiction instead.  I also understand the dilemma of having so much to write about which is like the opposite writer's block.  The struggle is real.

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