Novels always contain stories within their stories, and life works similarly. I believe that each person is a story, and that we interact and come together and collectively we create bigger, all encompassing stories. Understanding interconnectedness and understanding that no one’s suffering or victories exist in a vacuum can be liberating.
Choose one of the exercises below to practice and play with the way stories interact.
-Write three 100-word vignettes about different facets of one meaningful historical event (a coup, a march, a victory …)
-Write two 150-word vignettes that are thematically related, but contrast. E.g. a poker game in a rich household, then in a poor household.
-Think of a character that you’ve been writing about or dreaming about, and write a 100 word contextualizing story for them that includes some hard facts. E.g. for a character dealing with racism you could write a vignette that defines racism or that lists some numbers, or looks at where it comes from.