When a writer takes a look outside the box — and into other boxes

Clayton J. Hester
2 min readJul 9, 2022
Photo by Curology on Unsplash

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It’s time to begin an intersection of form in:

  • Novels
  • Screenplays
  • Stage plays
  • Narrative poetry
  • Narrative songs

This is the whole idea behind my “Renaissance Writers” concept.

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In fact, I’m testing it right now as I build a local writer’s group over here in the southern-Missouri-and-Illinois region as I gather as many types of writers (novelist, playwright, screenwriter) as possible of as many sorts as possible.

The goal is to get different eyes and different perspectives on each project.

As someone working to grow constantly in each of these forms, I want to not only drive insights about the use of form but also engage members with cross-collaboration and shared momentum.

The goal will be to nurture creative thinking about form.

Being a Renaissance Writer is about transcending boundaries to unleash the human spirit in the medium of language.

This comes together in a series of cross-merging lenses.

It’s about form, style, formatting, exposition, dialogue, and much more.

So why do we care about this whole idea of a “Renaissance Writer”?

This blog’s titular tool is “lateral thinking.” It’s this tool that we use like a pair of tweezers to pick up a trait or attribute from one domain and move it to another.

The results can be a chemical reaction of insight.

Now, maybe there’s a formalistic or structuralist assumption in this approach to the “boxes” of genre.

The assumptions, I suspect, are a roadmap for creative ideation.

Anyone who has attempted to adapt a narrative from one story form to another knows the role that this plays in storytelling.

This should be a fun experiment that will lead to more. Stay tuned while I share more about my experiments here on Taking It Laterally.

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Clayton J. Hester

Country boy. Explorer of the creative process & life, the arts, storytelling, innovation and history of ideas. Omnia in gloriam Dei facite — claytonjhester.com