Meetup 81: Expanse, Part 1

Hello people,

Some of you might already know about all the wonderful things that Write Club has come up with, as part of Dramatic December. And Expanse is the sole and whole beginning for it. Just as rightly, Expanse – led by Siddharth, one of our most prolific writers has been a heavily impactful session.

We at write club have over the 18 odd months, have dabbled with a plethora of topics, thematics and techniques, which have redefined the way we think and write stories. They’ve shown us ways of telling a story, which perhaps we would’ve never known. From Fore-shadowing to science fiction, from chronology to satirical, from inanimate things to supernatural forces, we’ve arguably seen it all. We’ve reached a point of our journey where we feel the need to level up. Get the stakes higher. This is where this week’s session Expanse comes in.

This weekend, we saw diversity, direction and dimension – all in one go! Siddharth came up with a very well-planned and highly-researched excerpt for all of us writers to take and peel through our stories.

To begin with –

Expanse involved world building. Intricately, historically, and incredibly. Don’t just write about it. Live there. Explore the history, the political structure, concerning ideologies, cultures, and traditions. Basically, play God. Now, is it just about simulating a world. Nope. The worlds are here to provide you with Visual Dynamism. You still have the impending task of weaving a gripping story within this scenario.

What is Expanse?

Well, to be plain about it, it’s just world building. But that’s undermining the whole thought of it. Expanse aims to present the participants to weave stories within three different worlds and narratives. These three worlds will be diverse, individual and totally unconnected.

The mission looks simple. Even the worlds and the pursuits do.The intent of having three episodes to it is to try and inculcate the sense of expanded writing. Most of us limit our writing to one session, ending it because of the time constraints. Or just because that’s all we can think of. We are trying to break away from that. We want to prepare a grand idea, and think, live and write it over three weeks. Though till now, we’ve been writing short stories, we are super capable of writing the next best-selling novel if we put our mind to it.

The Exercise:

The session was planned to pan across 3 consecutive, trippy and gripping sequels. And so here we list a step-wise detail on what came about this weekend.

Step 1. Pick one among the three worlds, as given below:

Choose wisely

Alpha Normandy: A utopian world, created to do away with diversity. An idea of oneness is the core cortex. Only one gender, one color, one race, one thoughts. A perfectly simulated world. The experimental setup is governed of course. Everything is quantified and tweaked. However, there lays a deep and terrible secret in its womb, which is about to reveal itself with dramatic effects.

Zertonikj Mir: A village in an ancient part of the world, where strange happenings have been reported to happen from decades’ past. It has over the years piqued interests of philosophers, poets, and scientists across the world. However, all the stories about it, couldn’t imagine the complexity of the occurrences inside the Zertonij Mir. Until now.

Kagami Portals/YomaKori: The mirror world presents the opposite views of our world. Being a parallel opposite, the world elements, always run in the opposite direction. Both literally and figuratively. The evolution of course was defined within such framework. The bridgeway of Yomakori (the world) to our world was the carefully plotted Kagami Portals. Mirrors. Which are forced open now.

Step 2:

Establish your world, as a setting in extreme detail. Use logical “Show, don’t tell” and add colour to the world. Build it in words, as you see it

Step 3:

Introduce exactly 3 characters. Describe their initial impressions, from all point of views. Define the purpose of each character to either be seek, survive or sacrifice. Make sure to pick a favourite character, among them.

Step 4:

Improv one of the characters as a time traveller.

Rules of the Game:

  1. Choose One World – from the above.
  2. Choose Three Characters, who will be the protagonists for the whole story arch.
  3. Give the characters one pursuit each – Seek/Survive/Sacrifice. Define them accordingly.
  4. Have a broad story map for the all three episodes before you start writing.
  5. Ensure that you carry the writing device/paper/diary all through the series.
  6. Create this Episode as an integral part of story establishment.
  7. Create enough anticipation in readers. Obviously end the episode with a twist.
  8. After you are done writing the episode, name the character you like and disliked in your work.
  9. On completion of the episode, state in 2 or 3 lines where you intend to take the story to.

Look at these writers in action:

Well, the stories that we heard this weekend. A delight. Need I say more?

If that ain’t cutting it for you, here’s something else. At every episode, you will be presented with a challenge which will make you twist, turn and make you think of an idea in a whole new way. The challenges which will have to be met within the specific episode will perhaps take the story in a direction which you never intended for it to go.

I have rarely known such creativity, such diversity and such scintillating prequels, at Write Club as in the stories of this weekend. We cannot wait to know what holds for us next weekend – not just to know the sequels of each of these stories, but also to know what twists and prompts that await us! This is what the session trilogy EXPANSE is majorly about.

Come, join us next weekend, for yet another journey in this intriguing wormhole!