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Transcript of Short-story writing
A simple story told well is better than a complicated story told poorly. Composing 100 Marks The plot is advanced through some kind of conflict arising between characters (Corruption, Political Independence, Gender Roles). Sometimes
it could be inner-conflict (an important decision or dilemma) or it could be external; a fight with a friend/boss/family member. Either way it doesn't need to complicated. Most stories and movies have some kind of conflict present at some point. The setting of the movie (London, Scotland, San Diego). Try to describe your surroundings so that the person reading your work can imagine the action accurately. "he walked down a tree-lined street where badly parked cars sat angled on cracked footpaths" sounds an awful lot better than "he walked down the street" Remember you're trying to convince the examiner that this story happened!! Make it easy for the examiner to imagine the event. Smells, sounds, colours and flavours all evoke positive responses in terms of gathering marks.
"the steaming mashed potato gave the helpless blob of butter no chance. The warm homely aroma of "butter on spud" wafted around the sink area as Mary raised the sleeves of her house coat determinedly and obliterated every defiant lump in the bucket-sized pot. This Sunday ritual was the prologue to a two-hour culinary drama" Finally, the ending or resolution draws it all together (Bond's "at-the-last-minute" interventions are legendary; William Wallace's death; Ron and Veronica reconcile after near death experience) RESOLUTION / THE ENDING RESOLUTION in other words "the ending"...how does it all end?
Do conflicting characters reconcile (make up) or is there no reconciliation at all. Are we left with a cliffhanger, not knowing how our characters fate is decided. Resolution is the ending of your story so it needs to tie a lot of your story together. In the Bond movies it's predictable to a point and usually good overcomes evil; In Braveheart we saw the death of our hero; in Anchorman we saw Ron and Veronica rekindle their romance.
However you decide to end your story it must have an ending for it be considered a short-story. Conflict SETTING How to write a decent short story. Very important. Think of your short story as one of your favourite movies. They all tend to introduce the main characters (whether it's James Bond, Braveheart or Ron Bergundy) in the first five minutes. Think of the physical appearance of these three characters - they are memorable only because the screenwriters worked hard to make us remember them. Don't add too many of them (avoid having an eight member rock band ! ) Sometimes it's easier to mix the age profile and gender of the characters because having three male teenagers in a story can often give fewer opportunities for you to show off your creative ability. Think of how easy it is to remember the characters in The Lonesome West. what will encourage the examiner to dish out plenty of marks? Dialogue between the characters is effective because it will exhibit your ability to create credible personalities, scenarios and help the reader to stay interested in your tale.
The rule with dialogue is that each character should, in most cases, get a separate line on the page. This is done so that during conversations, it becomes clear who's speaking and can also add to the overall atmosphere especially if it is a tense exchange of words.
"What do you mean 'I'm fired' " Seán snapped angrily. "Well, we've no other choice. The recession has hit us badly and you were the last in" Paul explained. "Yeah, but i've been doing your donkey work for months and you implied i'd be looked after" "I didn't think this is is what you meant." With that, Paul picked up the phone, dialled '0' and spoke; "security please"
"what do you mean I'm fired?" Seán snapped, angrily.
"Well we've no other choice. The recession has hit us badly and you were the last in" explained Paul.
"Yeah but I've been doing your donkey work for months and you implied i'd be looked after!...I didn't think that this is what you meant."
With that, Paul picked up the phone, dialled '0' and spoke;
"Security please" CHARACTERS.. Paper One Dialogue CLIMAX The climax of the story is crucial (unsuspected betrayal,
William Wallace's unexpected victories, Ron Burgandy's on-air expletive).
A story could have one or more climactic scenes but since you want to
bring the story to a close in 60 minutes, you probably need to focus on a
single climactic event. A twist is a good example of a climax in a story. Sudden disclosure of a secret or a sudden unforeseen death. The famous scene from Eastenders when Zoe Slater shouts at Kat (her "sister") because she's forcefully giving her advice about some controversy and she screams "YOU'RE NOT MY MOTHER!"....to which Kat shouts back "YES I AM!" (classy viewing!) In Anchorman, one could argue that Veronica falling into the bear pit was a climactic scene. Peril/Humour/reversal of fortune.
Conflict is important because it precedes the last element..... Setting
Resolution 6 Elements of the
Short-story (and they don't have to
be in that order...) GOOD LUCK!