Saturday, December 16, 2017

SiWC 2016 Workshop #3 Narrative Dares

Narrative Dares
Jasper Fforde

Give yourself an idea -> what if someone had three legs who arrived in a world everyone had two legs
Jane Eyre gets kidnapped out of Jane Eyre, how do you get her back?

Works particularly well with speculative fiction. Like with a dare, you have to do it -> “I dare you to…” you can’t change your mind, go back.

You can’t let yourself off the hook. Annoying, but also liberating. When you get in trouble, you have to work doubly hard to get out of it. There’s no idea stupid enough that can’t work, if you do the quality of writing. You can play with it and eventually make it work. You have to rummage in your authorial toolbox.

A dare: There’s a gorilla up a tree, but the tree isn’t in Africa, it’s in a garden in Surrey.
Say to yourself, “explain.”

So, how does this story begin? There has to be a storytelling arc, it has to make sense, even if absurd.

Like a joke, there’s a buildup, and a payoff.


If you’re got a silly idea, hide it within a hundred other silly ideas. You don’t hide a stick in the desert, you hide it in the forest. What if Humpty Dumpty was murdered? So, hide him in a world of nursery rhymes, where none of the characters know they’re nursery rhymes, but of course the reader does.

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Type me out a line of Shakespeare or a line of nonsense. Dumb-blonde-jokes & Irish jokes will make me laugh myself silly :)