So this past week or two we’ve moved on from 500 word stories to 750 word stories. And with this new transition came “style writing.” This is probably an unknown form of writing, but done right can actually be pretty good.
A style piece is virtually a story written in a real life template. A real life template can be virtually anything that’s used in reality: a poster, magazine, blog, a test, etc. Done right it actually looks pretty cool, and there are probably a number of outlets that would publish it. The only published example I’ve seen is in our school “textbook” which is pretty good book actually, it’s called “Flash Fiction Forward: 80 Very Short Stories.” It‘s a good book, with a good amount of flash fiction stories.
Anyway, I managed to write my own in the form of a fortune teller, or as some people know it a “cootie catcher”? I still don’t understand why they call it that. A bunch of people in my course wrote style pieces in advertisement form, recipes and those street signs that have the “tear here” tabs at the bottom. All of them were pretty cool, though let’s be honest we are not professionals so we still have a lot of work to do, especially me. Which in the end makes it all the more fun, and challenging. Of course, that’s what being a writer is all about. We need challenges to find out what we are good at and what we’re bad at. It’s all about the experience.
I will not deny that mine is probably bad. Most of my word count is actually in my instructions. But I tried my best.
The photo here doesn’t show all the instructions, sorry. I would have posted a .pdf but that doesn’t seem viable on blogger, at least I’m not sure how. Anyway, I did the best I could and this style piece you actually have to cut out the fortune teller and figure out what sentences fit best together to get the whole story, or at least understand it.
The most difficult part about this form in particular is that you need to be as specific as possible, either giving your reader the exact patterns to follow to get the story (which I probably should have done) or make it so that the story was readable from any angle they chose. Pretty complicated, huh?
My creative writing class is great. I love sharing what I’ve learned so far. Why don’t you guys try a style piece? I admit, it’s quite the challenge.