Wee Scoops

Measure for Measure

Looking for free ideas. Anyone got any?

I need some inspiration. I need to write a BRILLIANT short story on the theme of freedom, but I keep running up against some persistent problems:

1. I slide into metaphor before I mean to. As soon as some character or other is physically trapped, they are immediately also metaphorically enslaved. I can’t break out of this 😉
2. All stories about freedom become bleak and dystopic when the freed character only then sees that they are not free AGAIN, only in a whole new and even more profound way. (“The seaweed is always greener in somebody else’s lake” and all that).
3. The story threatens to end up like a cheesy evangelistic tract. And that’s a whole other genre.
4. I end up in a loop of free will versus determinism that your average reader doesn’t want to face when trying to enjoy a story.
5. The “freedom to say 2+2=4” may be a pithy definition of freedom, but it’s not much of a story, unless you are Orwell.
6. Freedom ends up being equated with a character “discovering themselves” – their true identity. But, that’s not really freedom. It’s identity.

So, I was thinking of trying to find a light-hearted angle on freedom, or a new random angle on freedom. Or the freedom to write a de-constructed narrative with words in a table of word classes where the reader is free to make up their own narrative from the bare bones of a story. (This is the post-post-modern “way forward” but I think the world isn’t ready for this yet…) Or I should claim freedom to write NOT on freedom?…

But I want to.

Any ideas you’re willing to share, you are FREE to comment below.

But only if your ideas are FREE.


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10 thoughts on “Looking for free ideas. Anyone got any?

  1. Scotstig on said:

    Going back to your time travel theme what about the person who thinks they are not free so builds a time machine to escape their bonds However they discover life isn’t that simple. I won’t destroy the story by ending it for you. Lots of issues to be explored here….. Freedom as a concept, freedom of the mind as well as the body, too much freedom can destroy people, freedom can be relative or dependant on other people. Hope this is helpful……

    • I think it is freedom as a concept than bothers me. It doesn’t really work as a concept without a context. I’ll have to make up a context.
      I am still sort of planning a time travel thing. But if I mixed freedom in with that my brain would explode.

  2. How about the bird in a gilded cage or is that one too tired. The issue here is that freedom is complex and what does it really mean to you and does it mean the same to me? You have given this a lot of thought, can one over think freedom? Maybe taking the idea and looking at it from a child’s perspective? I don’t know, I hope that I helped.

  3. theotheri on said:

    I agree with both comments above. It sounds to me as if you appreciate that freedom is almost limitless in its potential meanings, but you haven’t decided which freedom you want to write about. So far your recurrent them sounds like someone is searching for freedom only to discover upon attaining it that s/he wants a different kind of freedom.

    But why do you need to write a BRILLIANT

  4. theotheri on said:

    to finish my last sentence before I accidentally hit the key that magically posted half a thought: Why do you need to write a brilliant short story on freedom?

  5. Oh, this is a long shot, but . . .
    I have been thinking about a Scottish ( I think–or maybe Irish) famous author who was born deformed and unable to communicate, but his family (or was it his mom?) patiently believed he could break out, and he did, eventually becoming a famous author who wrote (I think) with his toes. We had to study this man, but I do not remember his name or many details, except all day, today, I have been thinking about what a gift his people gave him–believing he was worth the constant effort, etc., so he could break out of his physical prison and become a valid and valued person.
    Maybe that is too trite, but it is a free suggestion. Except I do wish you would tell me his name, if you know it, so I can look him up and renew my knowledge, or even read some of his works. Thanks!

  6. Okay, I found him. I was determined. I was going to look through every single lit textbook we have, today, until I found the story I knew was there. But in the first book Itook up, on the first wild flip through the pages, it opened to him.
    Christy Brown.
    He was born Irish, the tenth baby of 22, in 1932. Ah, well.
    He had cerebral palsy and wrote his autobiography, My Left Foot, 1954, by typing with his feet. And although I knew the outcome of the story, having read it several times, the writing is so good that it brought a couple of tears, again.
    He also has written a novel, Down All the Days, 1970, which made him world famous.
    The selection offered in our lit book was a chapter from the autobiography entitled “The Letter ‘A'”.
    The photo of him in our text makes him look a bit like the actor Rob Reiner, in a small, bent way, and in a wheelchair.
    Well, not sure any of this will help, but at least you can tell people care enough to remember your troubles and try to help, eh? 🙂

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