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Thursday, 8 May 2014

Work for Week Three

Develop a story from your representation of a normal (perhaps observed) situation.  That is, introduce a crisis

So we begin with a stable situation, which I've dubbed 'normality'.   That's the physical and emotional setting of the story, the everyday way of life the main character is leading.    The story proper begins when the writer introduces some sort of disruption to that normality, what I've call the 'crisis'.   Usually this is something going wrong.   The crisis sets a problem for the main character and the rest of the story is how he/she tries to solve that problem.  Here is a simplified example.

 Single mother and teenage son as he comes home   from school.  Through conversations, details in the house, we learn some of their routine,
including her boy-friend, something about his father


She intends to ask the boyfriend to move in.  He’s very upset at the idea, has put up with him for Mum’s sake but doesn’t like him.  Now feels
                ‘home’ is about to be destroyed.

You can introduce the crisis in different ways.
· Sudden dramatic event like an explosion, an accident, a fire, coming home early and catching them
· An ominous situation leading up to, for example, getting the sack, being kidnapped
· Gradual realisation of something – we’ve been locked in, he’s a pathological killer
·  Using dialogue to convey the person’s feelings
· Describing the events and things and gestures  through details and not explaining the person’s emotions

You can start the story with the crisis, and then go back to show what the ordinary context was, or mention in bit by bit as you go along.    

Here is another example

He lolled on the sofa in front of the fire watching the 10 o’clock news.   She brought him a cup of tea, gave the logs a poke,  and then went round the windows drawing the curtains.  
“Best time of the week – Friday evening,”  he said.  
        When she didn’t answer he said,  “It is, isn’t it?   Hmmm?”  
       When she still didn’t answer.
        “What’s the matter?”  he asked, looking at her back in the doorway.
        “I’m leaving you.  Tomorrow.  Eight-thirty train to Waterloo.”  And she left the room.

To recap.   What I've outlined is the basic shape of most stories, and of stories which lie behind texts which are not themselves primarily narrative -  such as lyric poems, monologues,  autiobiographies.

Also, remember that the order of the story, the 'events' in it, isn't necessarily the order in which you tell the story, or refer to these events.

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