Writing effective stories The tricks of the trade
The Mountain and the Sea • The sea of experience: (Swimming in the sea of life) • The mountain of abstraction (looking at the patterns) The best writing dips into the ocean and climbs the mountain.
In medias res AB White’s first ideas for starting “Charlotte’s Web” Draft 1 • A barn can have a horse in it and a barn can have a cow in it, and a barn can have hens scratching in the chaff and swallows flyin’ in and out through the door – but if a barn hasn’t got a pig in it, it is hardly worth talking about.
Draft 2: • Charlotte was a big gray spider who live in the doorway of a barn. She was about the size of a gumdrop and she has eight legs and plenty of tricks up her sleeve.
The final draft • “Where’s Papa going with that axe?” ******** Great leads grow from curiosity – from asking questions about the stimulus you are given. I was an untruthful little boy. The world for us ended on a Tuesday afternoon in May.
Thoughtshots and Snapshots The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson “Unpacking even just the few things in her brown suitcase, always seemed a waste of time to Gilly. She never knew if she’d be in a place long enough to make it worth the bother. And yet it was something to fill the time. There were two little drawers at the top and four large ones below. She put her under wear in one of the little ones, and then picked up the photograph from the bottom of the suitcase”
Snapshots Use the poetic devices and descriptive language to capture the moment. Practise writing settings that may be adapted to the stimulus. Create a snapshot of interesting character/s to put in your toolbox.
Thoughtshots- are often the emotional response to the snapshots - can frame a story and may be the first sentence of the paragraph • “It was my first night on the job as a pizza delivery man and I had a feeling it would be my last”
REMEMBER: • Use binoculars • Explode the moment • Shrink a century
Dialogue Functions: • Reveals character • Advances the plot
Use the model essay Locate examples of: The snapshot The thoughtshot The use of dialogue “Exploding a moment” “Shrinking a century”