I can’t remember how I first came across it, but kishōtenketsu has fascinated me for a long time. I hope to try it out soon.

As I wrote in the reflections on The Recipe, I just don’t like conflict in my writing. It just feels unconformable somehow. So when I found out that it’s possible to write fiction without conflict, that was very eye-opening. Moreover, it’s such a great challenge considering I’ve spent my entire life embedded in Western narrative forms, which consider conflict essential to any compelling story.

So for my next short story I’m thinking of using this new (to me) form. At the same time I’m hoping to continue my exploration into the limits of artificial intelligence. I’m not yet sure what exact shape that’ll take, but I like the idea of asking, as Nicholas Carr recently did, what does it feel like to be a smart phone? Naturally, I suppose that there must be some part of a story told from the perspective of a fully-conscious smart phone. That’s a great fit for my genre of choice, techno-magical realism, which I guess is no accident. In terms of kishōtenketsu, this fragment seems perfectly suited to act 3, the twist.

It’s probably obvious that what I don’t have in this story is.. anything else that would normally form the elements of a story: plot, character, even a title. Guess I’ll need to figure some of those out!