This prompt was inspired by Amy Silverberg’s story Suburbia! which you can find in The Best American Short Stories 2018
Write a story with some magical realism in it
- Magical Realism is a type of writing in which much of the story is realistic, but there are magical or fabulist (fable-like) elements. Real world rules need not apply to everything. (In such a story, if someone is wrestling with jealousy, a literal green-eyed monster might turn up and chat with them, without explanation. Just there, in coffeeshop, not causing a commotion…)
- If you’re new to this/uncomfortable with it, start your story the way you would normally start it. Let it grow and see what possibilities open up.
- The point of this exercise is to stretch yourself; to play with different forms and see what dimensions might be added to your storytelling. The beauty of short fiction is that it doesn’t have to follow the same rules as a novel.
- As you write, pay attention to the theme that is emerging and the metaphors you’re using. Can you take one of those metaphors to absurd lengths? For example, if someone has a metaphorical black cloud hanging over them, could it be a literal black cloud that follows them around? If it’s raining cats & dogs, could it literally rain cats & dogs? Perhaps your main character is lonely and adopts one of the precipitated kitties? (And if you’re wondering why all my metaphors have weather in them, I’m sorry, I’m British.)
- If you normally write fantasy, experiment today with writing a realistic story, and then see where you could introduce just a hint of fantasy, that ties in with the themes of your story. Or perhaps you could invent a new genre: reverse magical realism, where your fantasy has an element/character that is restricted to the physics of our world!
If you share you story somewhere (and here’s why you might not want to) post a link here so we can come and read it.
Did you write today? How did you get on? Who did you write about? Leave a comment!