1. Tobinobin
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    Tobinobin Member

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    Story from the perspective of.... a tree?!

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Tobinobin, Jun 10, 2009.

    I was just thinking...do you think a story written perhaps from the perspective of an oak tree would be good?

    Basically it would be a short story starting at say early 19th century and ending in the 21st century. It could almost serve as a reflective and quite interesting piece of writing.

    The reason for the oak tree is because it has a lot of meaning to past groups in history eg: in celtic mythology it serves as a portal between worlds (this works well as the story is showing how much the world has changed over two centuries - the world is completely different?)

    Tell me what you guys think - it wouldnt be a very long story just a page or two.
     
  2. ChaseRoberts
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    ChaseRoberts Senior Member

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    Interesting idea. I think a short story would be about the limit, given that a tree can't exactly get up and wander, so eking out a novel would be challenging!

    Would the tree be in a setting, such as a family home? Or in the park? Would the tree's story have a sort of continuity (such as a girl having her first kiss under the tree, then growing up and bringing her children to the same tree) or would it be fragments of different lives through the ages?

    And writing from the tree's viewpoint- can it understand human emotions? Will it be able to ascertain what is important and what is trivial? Does it understand it is a tree and they are not?

    Great idea actually.

    Hope you post it when you've written it :)


    Also, will the story end with the tree being chopped down for an 'exciting new two and three bedroom townhouses, prices starting at £249,999?' development. I'd feel sad for the tree if it did. But that might just be me
     
  3. Tobinobin
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    Tobinobin Member

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    Basically - the tree would be in some insignificant setting - perhaps a field outside a small settlement (the settlement grows much larger as decades go). It would be in first person - describing the growth of the tree, but also perhaps not fully realistic (descriptions of mens evil, their emotions, their seemingly pointless consumerism to the tree). Different events (like you said, perhaps a kiss then further in the womans life her children etc) but also a few battles.

    I cant really describe it - I dont want to give it away too much but it would have a lot of important underlying themes and issues with humankind as viewed from a completely innocent, wise(hmm, maybe not realistically) and ancient thing.

    Thanks for the ideas btw - I might actually go for it and use them if thats fine!
     
  4. ChaseRoberts
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    ChaseRoberts Senior Member

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    No problems. I just hope I can get to read it when it's done!
     
  5. amble
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    amble Member

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    Two centuries in a page or two? Good luck :)

    I think it's a cracking idea, but you should give it more legs than what you've limited it to. There's so much scope there, from wildlife and events to people and weather.
     
  6. Tobinobin
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    Tobinobin Member

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    Nah it wouldnt go by like that - just be different scenes through the decades not like month by month.

    Flashes of scenes in the growing of the tree.
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    A story concept means nothing. I can tell you now, it has been done before. What matters is how you write it, the characterization, the flow, the imagery, all of it.

    There's no point to asking what other people think of the concept! They'll either say,"Sounds great," or, "it sounds like a ripoff of..."

    If the idea stirs you, write it. Then ask people what they think of the final story. After they tell you what they don't like about it, revise it, usually several times, until you're happy with it or until you throw up your hands and say the hell with it.

    Please read this thread about What is Plot Creation and Development?

    (and yes, this is a template post, which should give you an idea of how often this comes up.)

    To quote Nike: Just Do It.
     
  8. Tobinobin
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    Tobinobin Member

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    Inspiring words Cogito, inspiring words.

    My main point in making this however, was to brainstorm ideas and how it would be created - this kind of thing needs a bit of planning beforehand IMO.
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    In your own words:
    You're a writer with an idea. Write it. Don't do it by committee. Seriously.
     
  10. Tobinobin
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    Tobinobin Member

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    Ok - I was just trying to create a creative discussion - but I will definately do it when I have time!
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    it's been done... so, if you want to do it, too, go ahead...

    but, as cog says, do it on your own, not by committee, or you'll end up with a camel, or worse!... plus, then it won't BE 'your own' will it?...

    serious writers get their own ideas and write their own stuff... they don't ask others to come up with details for them... my saying that 'out loud' may annoy, or even enrage some here, but it's a fact that shouldn't be ignored or denied, on a site that's set up for writers...
     
  12. Tobinobin
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    Hmm.. I didn't ask people to 'come up with ideas for me' I just asked what people thought of the idea. To quote the actual website description of general writing section : "Brainstorm ideas" and thats what I was doing - not saying 'give me ideas now so I can use them to write'.

    I dont want to make mountains out of molehills here - but I dont think what I was doing was unreasonable - I didn't ask for ideas for the story.
     
  13. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Many stories have been told from the perspective of an inanimate object or semi-animate object, or partially from the perspective of said object.

    Example:

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Tobinobin
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    Tobinobin Member

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    Yeah - Im not claiming my idea is completely unique I just think an ancient oak tree would be good for that purpose as they last so long + so many things could happen around them in their (lifespan?).
     
  15. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Not doggin' the originality part, cuz', truth be told, there is nothing new under the sun. Everything has been done before. Everything.

    The fact that it has been done simply implies that it is doable, and like all things, will sail or crash solely on it's execution.
     
  16. ChaseRoberts
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    ChaseRoberts Senior Member

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    Not trying to be obtuse here, am just new, but surely the whole entire point of having a writing forum is so writers can get together and throw ideas around? Otherwise, what's the point?

    Feel free to point out if I'm completely off mark here. Just sayin'...
     
  17. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Ideas about how to write, and how to improve. It isn't a collaborative writing site.

    Sure, people look for fresh writing ideas, and inspiration, but from that point they should be coming up with their own stories.

    Despite the backpedalling, Tobinobin posted a plot summary and asked what people thought of it. He said nothing about brainstorming until I pointed out that posting a plot summary for opinions is pointless.
     
  18. Tobinobin
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    From brainstorming - I get 'group creativity technique' officially - but just some writers talking about a topic or theme that might be interesting or not and discussing that.
     
  19. ChaseRoberts
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    ChaseRoberts Senior Member

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    okay. cool. gotcha.

    So anyway, this tree idea... let us know when you've done something, I can read it through if you want. I can't guarantee an expert response, but I will give an honest opinion.

    (S'cuse my typing, grammar and spelling, it's 1am here, and I've drank a LOT of coffee)
     
  20. lynneandlynn
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    lynneandlynn Contributing Member

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    I'd have to agree with cog...if you have an idea, write it. No need to find out if someone else is going to be interested in reading it. In my mind, if you're not writing for *yourself* first, then you're simply allowing yourself to cater to the whims and desires of the people around you. And it's not really something that should be done when writing because it causes you to lose sight of yourself. That's my personal opinion.

    ~Lynn
     
  21. sweetchaos
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    sweetchaos Contributing Member

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    I really great book that's been written from the perspectiveof a tree: The Giving Tree. Yes, it's a kids book, but I still love. Might be good for some inspiration. -shrugs-
     
  22. Tobinobin
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    Tobinobin Member

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    Interesting - thanks!
     
  23. sophie.
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    sophie. Contributing Member

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    Roald Dahl (at school) had to write an essay entitled 'a day in the life of a penny' once...so he started with being dropped in a gutter, then was found by some boys, and given to a horrible sheetshop owner, and flipped around in his pocket...etc etc.

    If you're creative with it, why shouldn't it work?
     

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