Writing 102

May 18, 2017

Check out the first post in this series but if you have it is clear you have now mastered the showing vs telling that is essential to writing.

 

Task 2

Setting the scene

It is really boring when someone describes a setting and it is pretty but nothing much is happening. It is better to experience a scene through the eyes of your main character so this is the task I also get students to do to start a story.

Have a person in a place doing something.

Let me explain the beauty of this simple task. First of all you start with action so instantly more interesting. Putting them in a place you can use your showing skills and describe the place but now it has a context. But the real beauty is this can start a story from anything. Who is this person? How did they get there? Why are they doing what they are doing? Answering these questions of this simple task can start a whole story.

 

Example:

He leaned forward on the bench and flicked some crumbs onto the ground. The birds cooed and pecked at his small offering. A person in way too much Lycra for a cold morning ran past but he didn't raise his head to even experience the jiggly and interesting bits of the young woman.

 

So if I answered those questions I'd say something like he is a spy waiting for another spy to come running past and doesn't want to give away that he is waiting for a runner so diligently feeds the birds. He shifts on the bench because his butt went to sleep hours ago because he has actually been there for hours.

Or if I answered the questions a different way I would say he is gay and is contemplating telling his family who are ultra fundamentalists and he doesn't want them to hate him. He is sitting out there and will soon come to the realisation that they already hate him so him being gay won't change anything.

 

 

So go out there and write about a person in a place doing something. If you like that character then keep them. They will be the start of a story.

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