This prompt was inspired by a link Dan Blank shared. Apparently there’s weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth in the artistic community about how the rise of data is crushing creativity.
The gist is: storytelling is changing. We’re not writing or consuming stories the same way. What does that mean for creativity?
Personally I think it’s awesome. Some of the best stories I’ve read in recent years eschewed the straight narrative (this happend, then that happened, crisis, climax, resolution, the end). One was written as answers to a police investigation, some have been written as lists, or tweets. A recent best-selling novel is written in second person, as a faux self-help book.
Of course, the straight narrative will always have its place, and it’s certainly a helpful structure on which to hang a story (more on that tomorrow), but it can help us stay out of a rut if we try new things. So:
Write a Story That Uses Numbers To Shape The Structure.
- You might time-stamp each of the ‘scenes’ within the story
- You might write snippets of things that happen in different houses in one street, using house numbers to break up the flow. Pull the whole thing together with one theme or by having one character who pops up in each different house for some reason.
- You can use weight: the weight of a feather, the weight of a newborn, the weight your main character was at 15, then the weight she is at 30 and what that means. The weight a crane can lift.
- Use multiple numbers in your story to tie together each scene (or break them apart).
- Have fun!