Sue Burke (mount_oregano) wrote,
Sue Burke
mount_oregano

Go Ahead — Write This Story: Change, Part III

In the third and final discussion of change, what stories involve change? There are three main kinds.

1. Many stories, especially television series, movies, and adventure novels, involve situational change: James Bond has a new adventure, or Bart Simpson overcomes a school bully.

2. In most novels and stories, characters change in small or large ways (or stalwartly resist change), such as Scrooge’s transformation in A Christmas Carol. This change must be permanent, and it must be dramatized.

3. Fiction sometimes tries to change the reader, the way Uncle Tom’s Cabin galvanized anti-slavery sentiment. Today, literary fiction often attempts this, usually a bit more subtly and directed at individuals rather than at society as a whole.

If you want to write about change, here are a few story ideas:

• This is an ecological thriller about a university microbiology student who decides to poke around the local Superfund pollution site to see what’s there – and gets lucky, if you could call it that.

• This a story about someone who seems to develop multiple personality disorder but in fact the new personality is a refugee from another space, time, and reality.

• This picaresque novel follows a young man who moves from job to job, such as Walmart clerking, Amazon warehouse order preparation, interstellar passenger ship cleaning, and zombie reburial, illustrating the brutal life of service workers.

— Sue Burke
Tags: writing ideas
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