Many writers make the mistake of telling their stories the conventional way. Perhaps not always on purpose and many even see that about their writing style and frustrates them.
Richard Thomas, in his article at Litreactor.Com, shows us 15 ways writers can step out of the box and tell their stories using a different approach.
- Vignette – Thomas describes this writing style as an “incomplete… impressionistic scene that centers around one moment…” and gives the reader the liberty to conjure up his own idea of an image or place. Thomas furthers that Vignette can even hypnotize or pull a reader into immersion.
- Slice of Life – Pretty much self-explanatory, Slice of Life are snippets of random moments, thoughts, musings, observations and ideas.
- List – Break up a story into itemized scenes.
- All Dialogue – Depending on how you explore the ways you can create plot, an all dialogue story can prove to be very compelling as well. Your character or characters will be the ones setting the scene, instead of the author. Challenging, isn’t it?
- Epistolary – A story that is told through a series of letters, or other forms of communication given the various ways people communicate nowadays.
- Metafiction – A term used to describe writing that deliberately asks questions in their writing and reality, usually by using irony and self reflection; (“meta” meaning “beyond”) is when a story (or movie or television show) comments upon another piece of fiction or upon its own fictionalism.
- Second person – A story that is written in second person POV. Thomas cites Palahniuk’s Fight Club as an example of this.
- Unusual Point of View – Now, this one can be very challenging but if done creatively, it can be compelling as well. Unusual point of view is creating a story from another creature’s point of view – creature that is not a human being. The possibilities are endless; give any inanimate object, or a flower, or an animal a voice that would tell your story.
- Length – Forget the conventionalities of writing, write a complete story in less words as possible. It’s a form of art all its own.
- Rashomon – A story told from various perspectives but focused on only one scene or event.
- Unreliable Narrator – This style of writing depicts the narrator’s unreliability. It may be due to the effects of a substance or a mixture of substances and maybe even some form of psychological problem.
- Reverse Chronology – A chronology of events narrated backwards.
- Footnotes – A story’s insight that is told from another source’s perspective.
- Stream of Consciousness – This style is primarily a narrative capturing the character’s thought processes and emotions.
- Choose your own path – This writing style gives the reader the choice to go to a chapter of his own liking. Richardson describes it this way: “If you want to open the door, go to page 12; If you want to stay and wait for the police, go to page 18; If you want to make a phone call, go to page 22.”
There you go, 15 story writing methods that allow you, the Writer, to step out of the box and tell your story in various ways. Explore the possibilities and dare to be different.
For the complete article that includes examples, you may jump to Thomas Richardson’s main post here.