How to Write Experimental Fiction
Experimental fiction seeks to push the boundaries of traditional narrative techniques and structure. It can be a challenging and frankly isolating genre to get into. Here are some tips on how to get started and make sure you don’t lose sight of your motivations.
- Know the basics. Before you can experiment with form and structure, you need to have a strong grasp of the fundamentals of storytelling, such as character, plot, and setting. Or, as in the case of my book (a memoir), a long, close look at your life and how it could be interesting to others beside yourself.
- Write freely. Don’t be afraid to play with different styles and techniques. Let yourself experiment and see where it takes you.
- Have fun. Like Funkadelic said, “For nothing is good, unless you play with it / And all that is good is nasty!” Goof off and keep your spirit alive.
- Edit ruthlessly. Experimentation can lead to some unconventional choices, so it’s important to be disciplined in your editing process to ensure that your work is coherent and engaging.
Embrace Risk and Keep It Real
Experimental fiction can be a risky endeavor, but it’s also an opportunity to explore new possibilities in storytelling. Don’t be afraid to do weird things and let it all hang out.
Look, this is not the way to riches and fame. By going off in a weird direction you’re by definition limiting your audience. Fuck ’em! That’s now what got you into this in the first place, right?
The Artist’s Direction
Great artists say they have little choice in doing what they do. You may know that feeling.
In writing my book, “Post Your Own Being Here”, I determined that I had no choice but to use unusual approaches and structures. It’s what the material and my inner guidance required. I knew it would make it less approachable and possibly only enjoyable to those who know me. But when it was all laid out before me, the decisions made themselves.