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What makes great stories great!

Want to know what makes a great story GREAT? This will tell you everything.
by

Jordan Kim

on 14 October 2010

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Transcript of What makes great stories great!

Characters Characters are one of the most important elements in a story. Authors create great characters by making them well-rounded and believable to the reader. In doing that, the author has to give us a lot of information on the character like: • Their physical appearance and personality
• Their speech, thoughts, feelings and actions
• Possible interactions with other characters
• How the reader can connect with, or feel about the character Great writers include many characters in their stories, for many different reasons. The main character in the story is usually the called the PROTAGONIST. The problem in the story, or conflict, centers around this character. The protagonist is usually thought to be the "good guy" in the story. Character maps help show a character's personality.Here's an example of one that I made up: Here's an example of a character from
LAFFF by Lensey Namioka: "In movies, geniuses have frizzy white hair right? They wear thick glasses and have names like Dr. Zweistein.
Peter Lu didn't have frizzy white hair. He had straight hair, as black as licorice. He didn't wear thick glasses, either, since his vision was normal." Silver, black tabby Green eyes Pointed ears Delicate paws Small nose Proud, elegant, innocent. Name: Snowy
Owner: Theresa
Character: Protagonist's cat Settings A setting is not only a place, it includes more detail so that you can visualize what the scene looks like. A setting consists of 5 key details: ~ Place (Manila, The forest)
~ Location (Power Plant mall, Next to the oak)
~ Objects (The ice cream stand, A flower,
~ Time (dawn, dusk, sunset)
~ Weather (rainy, sunny) Characters move around in stories. They might react differently and feel different in different settings. Short stories tend to have 2-5 different settings.
When the setting changes the scene changes. Here's an example of setting from The baby in the night deposit box by Megan Whalen Turner: "... they passed between rows of broken down houses, which seemed deserted, huddled behind flat expanses of mud that should have been front gardens. " * Here's one I made up myself: The leaves were scattered in the midnight breeze, swirling around the trunk of the sky oak. The bare branches heavily weighted with snow threatened to break. Plot The plot is basically what happens in the story, it has 5 components: - Exposition: which is the start of the story, the first thing that happens before the other actions happen. You meet the characters and find out about the setting (Base camp)

- Rising Action: which is everything that happens, events and problems, before the climax. (Like climbing up the mountain before reaching the peak.)

- Climax: which is the turning point, or the most exiting or stressful part of the story. (The peak)

- Falling Action: which is all the rest of the action before the ending. (The climb, back down)

- Resolution: The ending or conclusion that ties everything together. In the plot there is usually some kind of conflict. External conflicts are: Character vs Character, Character vs Nature or Character vs Society. Internal conflicts are usually just Character vs Self. Here's an example of a plot from Jimmy takes Vanishing lessons by Walter R. brooks: "Jimmy always goes past his aunt's haunted house on his way home from school. Everyone thinks that the house is inhabited by a ghost so no one would rent it.
(The exposition)
Jimmy builds up enough courage to go into the house to search for the ghost. When he goes in he gets scared by the ghost. Jimmy gets mad.
(Rising Action)
Jimmy marches back into the house just to see the ghost laughing his head off. He hides behind the door then scares the ghost. The ghost beggs Jimmy not to tell anyone, so they negotiate. They agree that Jimmy won't tell anyone and he gets vanishing lessons.
(Climax)
Jimmy goes back to the haunted house everyday until he perfects his vanishing trick. All that while he has a plan to get rid of the ghost. He shows his aunt the vanishing trick and tells her his plan, and they set his plan into motion. Everything goes according to plan and they end up chasing the ghost out of the house.
(Falling Action)
Someone ,finally, rents the house and Jimmy invites the ghost to move in with him."
(Resolution) Exposition Rising action Climax Falling action Resolution Exposition- My name is Silverstar, and my home, my clan, is gone. I have traveled far away and have come back, to nothing. Rising action- I stumbled around looking for something that could remind me of the comforting place I called home, but found nothing. I padded away down-hearted and discouraged towards the setting sun. I continued wearily and looked for a place to rest for the night. That's when I saw the claw marks on a rain-softened rock. I ran over and sniffed the rock, the marks were only made a few sunrises ago. My ears perked and I knew that I would find them soon. I worked my way, around the rubble and fallen trees, feeling new found energy surging through my travel-weary limbs. I traveled on for 2 days, without rest, keeping the thought of finding my clan in mind. I soon grew tired but willed myself onwards. 2 more days and I knew that I could not go on, but I didn't need to, I saw an approaching silhouette of a cat and I knew, I was home. What Makes Great
Stories Great! Dialogue Dialogue is the conversation between some ,or all, the characters in the story. It can also help the reader understand the speaker's thoughts, feelings or beliefs. Dialogue is a key element of fiction that helps develop and deepen characterization. * What do you learn about the speaker from what he/she said?
* What did you learn about the speaker from the way he/she said it?
* What do you notice about the descriptions that are not in the actual dialogue?
* What kinds of grammatical structures do you notice to help you realize that this is a dialogue?
* What is one adjective that you could use to describe each character involved in this dialogue? These are a few questions that you can ask yourself to get more from the dialogue. Here's an example of Dialogue from the special powers of Blossom Culp by Richard Peck: "Now shut up and listen," Letty told them. "I am looking for some first-rate presents from you-all for my birthday. Don't get me any if that five-and-dime stuff." As you can see Letty is a spoiled brat. She is also bossy and annoying. (DIALOGUE) Here's one I made up myself: ..."What do you want?" I mumbled sleepily. "Dawn patrol, come on!" An impatient voice replied. "Can't it wait?" I asked, annoyed. "Of course," Replied the voice sarcastically. "yes, the clan can wait and be attacked! Now come on!" I blinked the sleep away from my eyes and found myself face to face with Brambleclaw... Description Description is writing which paints a colorful picture of people, places, things or ideas using vivid detail. Using description engages the reader. Great writers use a technique called "Showing Not Telling" »« Telling: Boring, undetailed words on a piece of paper. (It's just actions, without any descriptions)

»« Showing: A beautiful piece of writing that is vividly detailed. It includes interesting word choice and strong adjectives. (This shows the author's skill as a writer and keeps the reader from putting the book down.) When you add detail, description, great word choice and dialogue you can turn a piece of paper with dull words on it into a beautiful piece of writing. "... they passed between rows of broken down houses, which seemed deserted, huddled behind flat expanses of mud that should have been front gardens. "* Here's an example of description from The baby in the night deposit box by Megan Whalen Turner: * notice how the author describes this dreadful scene. * notice how the author uses detail to describe this dreadful scene. (Yes, this is the same phrase as the one from setting but it can be used for both.) Here's one I made up myself: The summer days seemed warm and contenting but the night was eeire and there was a low mist trailing along the forest floor and wisping around the low hanging branches of the trees. A distant hoot of an owl echoed through the forest as it prepared itself for flight, a splash of water, from a puddle, as a paw gently padds away. Introspection Introspection is what the characters think in a narrative story. Introspection is often written in italics. Remember, do not use quotation marks when writing an introspection. The quotation marks would turn an introspection into a dialogue. > In internal dialogue the character is sort of talking to his\herself but there is no sound. The author would use words such as "remembered", "imagined" or "thought".

> Plain introspection, on the other hand, is used when it is obvious to the reader what the character is thinking. Here's an example of introspection from The Woman In The Snow by Patricia McKissack: "... It ain't the same woman dummy. You know how they all look alike..."

(That was an example of Plain Introspection.)

"... he just made up his mind to close down the route and head back to the garage when he saw her..."

(This is an example of Internal Dialogue) Those were the 2 kinds of introspection. Thought,
remembered,
imagined. Strange. He "
" There was a damp, chill in the air. The rain’s coming soon. I thought to myself.

(Internal Dialogue)

Twist! Dive! Leap! Strike! I gave blow after blow to the imaginary cat I was battling. I'm going to be the best warrior ever!
(Plain Introspection) Here's some I made up myself: So Much HOMEWORK! So BORED! Wish I was outside. Internal Dialogue Plain Introspection By: Jordan Kim
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