1. Annûniel
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    Annûniel Contributing Member Contributor

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    Unorthodox Stories

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Annûniel, Mar 6, 2011.

    Sometimes I find myself wanting to write a story simply because it is unorthodox. Certain plots are told time and time again with different characters and in different ways. While I still enjoy these stories, sometimes I can't help but want to write the exact opposite.

    For instance, a story about an evil rebellion trying to overthrow a good empire. Or perhaps a story about someone in a world with magic who wishes themselves to Earth. Or even more daring, a story about orcs and goblins who are constantly plagued by evil elves.

    Has anyone else felt like this? Or am I alone?
     
  2. Smoke
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    Smoke Contributing Member

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    I hang out on TV tropes, and while I don't quite understand the difference between subverted and averted, or any of the other terms they use, I do want to mess with the concepts.

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/PlayingWithATrope
     
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  3. Porcupine
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    Porcupine Contributing Member

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    I think it's a good idea to try something new, and go against what is deemed "mainstream".

    I experiment a lot too, though I also experiment with form and style and not just with content.
     
  4. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I am not sure - my stories are naturally off the wall. I start out with something very normal, but it always has bonkers elements. I have one story which is incredibly tragic at the end but has exploding apples and whoopi cushions in it. Even Gus and Iris - it has a geriatric love affair, unconventional relationship and scary elements. Not sure if a sexual innuendo ridden sketch about a fire extinguisher and a bankers lamp in a hardware store is orthodox. I have elements in my fairly normal stories that are contraversial.

    That is what I love doing is taking a story giving it an air of normality but really it is totally bizarre and weird.
     
  5. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I do, but I also seen people doing cheap shot at this and coming out with results even less exiting then mediocre. Unless it done smart it often feels like they are only stating:

    "Look at me and my story! I'm the most special snoflake in the whole world because I inverted something. I'm so smart and special."


    No offence to anybody, but I feel like slapping anyone over age 17 reaching that conclusion. After the brief meting beteen thier face and my hand i want to tell them:

    "No. It not creative. You just turned something upside down, or inside out. Kids age 5 are usually fascinated with that stuff.
    To build something great in unique you got to work hard, think, and find a vision of you own. Inverting something just isn't enough."
     
  6. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I do agree it is something that shouldn't come across as forced - its better to be good cliche that try too hard to be different.

    I know the 'unorthodox' elements in my stories require no though they appear.
     
  7. Noya Desherbanté
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    Noya Desherbanté Senior Member

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    I find that sometimes the best stories are just orthodox themes with unorthodox fittings - like a sturdy, normal Christmas tree hung with bizarre decorations :) It's been done through the ages, Romeo and Juliet has been told hundreds of times since with different characters, locales and outcomes... apparently there are only seven real plots out there, as w176 said, you have to find a vision of your own :)
     
  8. Annûniel
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    Annûniel Contributing Member Contributor

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    True enough. I haven't actually sat down to write any of these unorthodox stories, but sometimes I get tired of reading the ones with evil empires or where children find a portal to a magical realm, etc.

    A poorly written story is a poorly written story regardless of whether it is cliche or not. Even still, when I pick up a fantasy book about an evil horde of orcs that are going to slay everyone in their path unless they are stopped by a group of random adventurers, I can't help but groan.
     
  9. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah. Inverting or averting a common troop can be a beginning to craft a good story. I just recent the people that makes the assumption that it in itself is a good idea. It an idea, good or bad is up to the execution.
     
  10. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have to admit I love subverting clichés. It's even more fun when you can get the reader to believe in the cliché, then turn it around.
     
  11. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    That's how I like writing my characters. I start with a recognisable cliche/stereotype then let the story turn that preconception on it's head:

    The smelly rebellious teen - who becomes respectful and wise.

    Start writing with an elegant gay man, concerned with his appearence - then have him slit a man's throat.

    A fire and brimstone prim and proper religious Abbot - then give him a male lover and have him be a father to several children.

    Kindly Uncle - who is involved with said Abbot and who can have a very nasty temper.

    The concerned father of one son - who battered the other son off the walls.

    The saintly dead mother - who to the outside world was gentle, kind and beautiful. Set out to destroy one of her children.

    The 'angel' princess who murdered her parents, had her brother's lover beaten up, had many love affairs.

    The Lord of Evil turns out to be a case of mistaken identity and is actually a pacifist monk.
     
  12. Tesgah
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    There's a reason why ideas are reused and still work, time and time again. People like what they feel is familiar, and often this means great battles between good and evil, elves, dwarves and magic, love and, apparently, vampires. It works. That, however, doesn't mean that someone doesn't come around with brand new strokes of genius from time to time. Most often it comes down to the writer's execution of his or her idea.

    Sometimes it is fun to write something which is completly new (though few things really are), but I usually prefer to take core ideas, which have been used before, and give them new, though still slightly familiar, twists.
     
  13. zilly
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    zilly Senior Member

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    No, I feel the same way. I don't mind reading the same boring stories, but I have no desire to write one.

    Keep in mind, though, that stories where the "bad guy" wins are rare for a reason. Most people wont relate to those motives and wont really get into the story.

    I'm struggling right now, because I want to write a story where the focal character doesn't overcome his flaws. But, I don't think it would be very appealing since, apparently, the character arch has become more important than the plot and theme...
     

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