I’ve recently started reading Zemyatin’s We (a book that I’ve been keeping an eye out for, if not actively looking for, for a while now) and so far I’m thoroughly enjoying it. Zemyatin has an interesting literary approach in the novel that I honestly can’t see ‘making the cut’ of most modern publishing houses. He tells the story from the view of a man writing a disjointed memoir, but this memoir is not for those who will come after him, but for those who came long before him. This approach gives the book both a predictive quality and the feeling of being outside of time, or at least outside of time as we recognize it. Personally, I rather enjoy his storytelling, but I imagine that it would probably get on the nerves of some people. Anyway, today’s exercise is a scene challenge. If you can’t remember the rules, I’ll provide them: I provide you with specific rules for how to write a particular scene. Try to keep your scene under five hundred words, and try to keep it in the same tone as the introduction. If I give a line that is very dark and depressing, then I don’t want to see a scene about a drunken monkey in a tutu…it just doesn’t fit. If I do give you a line about a drunken monkey in a tutu, then you should probably try for a funny scene.
Your Challenge: amazingly enough I want you to write a scene about Utopianism. This is going to be a variation of the movie/book scene challenges we’ve done in the past. Choose one of your favorite scenes from a good utopian or dystopian movie or book. However, instead of simply rewriting the scene, I want you to write a version of what happens that is entirely your own. Your own voice, your own characters, your own setting. Everything should be your own. This isn’t a simple rewrite for practice. I want you to write a scene that reflects the same mood, evokes the same emotions, and handles plot in the same way, but that is still completely your own work.