I asked each participant to choose a number from 15 - 100. They looked in the magazines I brought, chose a headline, 4 altogether, and tried to write a story from this. It wasn't ALL I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE.
Using the speaking feather, pass around talking stick for sharing.
Mine headlines were...
- America's treatment of bankruptcy firms
- a spoonful of ingenuity
- prince of the absurd
I realized that in using the Economist, we ended up with pretty dry stories. I shall have to rethink this one!
Narrative Leads & Short Story Structure
Lesson 12 – Narrative Leads from Nancy Atwell's bookThis is the way to start a story.
Handout – only 3 types of leads: reaction, action, response
We read the handout and spoke about how the narrative lead has to grab the reader, and suck them into your story. You have to figure out how much to put in and how much to leave as a secret for the writer.
Lesson 32 – AtwellShort story structure
• Create a narrative lead: show protagonist (main character)
in action, dialogue, or reaction Introduce the main character’s character
• Introduce the setting: time, place, relationships of main character’s life
• Introduce and develop the problem the main character is facing
• Develop the plot, conflict, towards a climax, e.g., decision, action, conversation, confrontation
• Develop a change in the protagonist, e.g., acknowledgement or understanding of something, a decision, a course of action, a regret
• Develop a resolution: how is the conflict resolved, or not?
Use 3 AWAD cards I made, they were to create a narrative lead. I typed out a word from the daily email. Each participant chose 3 word cards, without looking, from the stack.
In addition, I asked them to choose one object from my bag of items to include in the story.
Then, they chose one character photo to include in the story.
Again, passing the talking feather, we shared.
iTunes download info
I listened to a great show, with good information on writing. It was featured on iTunes.
Several tracks with interview with best-selling novelists. Tackles the practicalities and pitfalls of writing fiction. This led to a discussion of iPods, Facebook, etc. It was interesting.
We managed to do two sessions of writing, after having a discussion of meeting timings, etc. Lots of great pieces arouse from this!
Start Writing Fiction 101 a174
If you fancy something interesting to listen to on the bus or around the house the OU is one of the first UK universities to make its podcasts available for free on iTunes U. Visit The Open University on iTunes U. There's a dedicated OU page on YouTube, once again we're the first UK university to have this arrangement with YouTube.
The topics of this show include: How to keep going, Characters and genre, Story structure, Imaginary geometric considerations, Research, Secrets, Redrafting and editing. Excellent series.
As written previously, I use a few visual aids. Of course, I have to take this with me each time as there is no place to leave them!
Finally, one participant suggested homework: an assignment about how this class has helped them. I hope to post it soon!