Four Dimensional Writing

A narratological exercise in writing auto-biographical stories with depth.

What is four dimensional writing?

Four dimensional writing is an exercise designed to help you explore an experience from your memory and write about it with added depth, incorporating sensory input, emotional stimulation, and temporal anchoring that when combined, potentially produce an enriched and engaging story.

E.M. Forster wrote the following about story and plot which approaches the heart of this exercise's intention...

"If it is in a story we say: 'And then?' If it is in a plot we ask: 'Why?' That is the fundamental difference between these two aspects of [a narrative]. A plot cannot be told to a gaping audience of cave-men or to a tyrannical sultan or to their modern descendant the movie-public. They can only be kept awake by 'And then--and then----' They can only supply curiosity. But a plot demands intelligence and memory also."

The following cues attempt to stimulate you into writing provocative and interesting parts of a story that we will later combine into a finished piece. Try to write at least fifty words for each section. For some paragraphs, we'll suggest ways to start that will help make the final product a cohesive story, but you are free and encouraged to break the mold and write what comes naturally.