Short story starters (incongruent juxtaposition photos)

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Helps inspire students to generate unique ideas for writing creative short stories.

Helps inspire students to generate unique ideas for writing creative short stories.

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  • 1. DeCubellis
    Creative Writing
    Incongruent Juxtaposition&Freewriting
    Methods for
    Short Story Idea Generation
    “I was the world in which I walked, and what I saw Or heard or felt came not but from myself; And there I found myself more truly and more strange.”
    From Wallace Stevens’ “Tea at the Palaz of Hoon
  • 2. DIRECTIONS:
    In a moment you will be viewing photographs that create tension by presenting two or more unlike things in unexpected ways.
  • 3. PURPOSE:
    The exercise is meant to help inspire in you ideas for your upcoming short story.
    You will use freewriting to do so.
  • 4. HINT:
    If at first you are uninspired by the photo and can’t think of what to write, try viewing it in different ways.
  • 5. HINT:
    • En media res
    • 6. Reversal
    • 7. Thought-shots
    • 8. What happens next?
    • 9. What caused this?
    • 10. Who stands to benefit?
    • 11. Complete departure...?
  • Freewriting
    The most important thing to remember is NOT to stop writing.
  • 12. Freewriting
    Expect to write a lot of repetitive, unrelated thoughts such as, “I can’t think of what to say,” or “This is stupid,” or “Purple monkey dishwasher.”
  • 13. Freewriting
    Non-stop writing keeps the floodgates of your mind open. Eventually some gold will sift through.
  • 14. The time will begin now…
    • Remember, don’t remove your pen from the paper.
    • 15. Think with your pen, not just your brain.
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  • 29. Follow-Up
    Now that you have finished, reread your freewritings and circle the gold. Use these to help you generate unique short story ideas.
    “I was the world in which I walked, and what I saw Or heard or felt came not but from myself; And there I found myself more truly and more strange.”
    From Wallace Stevens’ “Tea at the Palaz of Hoon