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Facilitated Revision: Short Story
Transcript of Facilitated Revision: Short Story
3 AM Epiphany Character and conflict are often heightened by dialogue. When two characters engage in conversation, it is important to follow conventional formatting, and to carefully consider what your main characters say, how they say it, and what they hold back. Dialogue: Said and Unsaid Setting moves readers most when it contributes to an organic whole. So close your eyes and picture your characters within desert, jungle, or suburb–whichever setting shaped them. Imagining this helps balance location and characterization. Right from the start, view your characters inhabiting a distinct place.
-- Laurel Yourke
Setting the Scene This is the turning point of the story–the most exciting or dramatic moment.
The crisis may be a recognition, a decision, or a resolution. The character understands what hasn’t been seen before, or realizes what must be done, or finally decides to do it. It’s when the worm turns. Timing is crucial. If the crisis occurs too early, readers will expect still another turning point. If it occurs too late, readers will get impatient–the character will seem rather thick. -Jerome Stern
Jane Burroway says that the crisis “must always be presented as a scene. It is “the moment” the reader has been waiting for. In Cinderella’s case, “the payoff is when the slipper fits.”
Climax/Crisis 1.Keeps the reader wondering “What happens next?”
2.Establishes the tone of the piece (whatever feeling you want your readers to get should be apparent from the beginning)
3.Immerses the reader in the physical world of the piece: the concrete world of sensory perception should be clear from the beginning, so slather on the descriptive imagery (should answer the questions Where? At what point in time? What is the physical terrain: a house? A boat? At sea?)
4.Introduces characters and situations (who will we be finding out about? What is their situation?)
*Remember: You can show all these characteristics through dialogue and descriptive detail rather than telling them directly. Assignment: Revise the beginning of your story using one of the following methods:
Start in the middle of the conflict (lends a sense of momentum)
Begin with an action scene (gives instant interest and excitement)
Open with an imbalance or missing link (adds mystery and draws the reader in)
Length: 2 paragraphs
Assignment: Add or revise an "epiphany" scene for your character. The scene should have the feel of an internal monologue (really get inside your character's head), and the scene should occur at 3am.
Length: 2+ paragraphs.
http://www.dailywritingtips.com/dialogue-dos-and-donts/ Assignment: Read the websites below and double check the dialogue throughout your story. Are you formatting and punctuating your quotes correctly? Are you using too many speech tags? Does your dialogue sound stiff and unnatural? Revise the dialogue throughout. Finally, choose or add ONE key conversation between two characters. Revise or rewrite this conversation completely. Make it clear that one of the two characters is holding something back. Also, allow this scene to show the reader something new or unexpected about one of your characters.
Length: 1 page double spaced. Setting includes the time, location, context, and atmosphere where the plot takes place.
•Remember to combine setting with characterization and plot.
•Include enough detail to let your readers picture the scene but only details that actually add something to the story. (For example, do not describe Mary locking the front door, walking across the yard, opening the garage door, putting air in her bicycle tires, getting on her bicycle–none of these details matter except that she rode out of the driveway without looking down the street.)
•Use two or more senses in your descriptions of setting.
•Rather than feed your readers information about the weather, population statistics, or how far it is to the grocery store, substitute descriptive details so your reader can experience the location the way your characters do.
Assignment: Choose or add a scene in your story and make setting very important. Write or revise this scene so that it includes lots of descriptive details that appeal to at least 3 of the 5 senses. Write these details in order to create a specific MOOD or feeling.
Length: 1 page Assignment: Identify your climax or crisis scene. Consider what spurs the climax, what your character learns or discovers, what theme/message you are sending to the reader, and how you can make a quick ending to your story after it. Next, CHANGE the circumstances of your climax scene. You should not change the other events or rising action of your story, just the setting, situation, or spurring moment in which the climax occurs. You do not HAVE to use this alterative climax in your story, but it is important to consider multiple options, and you just might discover something new about your character/story along the way.
Length: 1 page