We’ve done a little work creating characters. Individually, let’s write 3 paragraphs that introduce our character, give him/her a grand passion, and suggest what the main problem is going to be.
Then, let’s get in our pairs and finish our character scenes. We’ll choose 3 to present randomly.
Then, I want to talk about scenes. Stories are built of scenes.
A good scene starts with a character who has a goal, conflicts which prevent him/her from reaching it, and then a decision or minor dilemma which finds a resolution–good or bad.
Imagine, we started with a high school senior who is graduating soon but doesn’t want to go to college though she isn’t sure what to do instead. Then, a friend of a friend tells her how easy it is to learn how to steal identities on the internet. What happens next?
Let me show you the cold open of one of my favorite TV shows The Wire.
How does that scene establish the show? What is it about?
Then, we’ll look at a Twilight Zone episode, “The Monsters on Due on Maple Street.” We’ll stop scene by scene to talk about how the scenes are constructed.
If we have time, we’ll look at this scene from Prisoner of Azkaban.
Finally, I’ll have you work in 2-person writing teams to make one of the following scenes:
- A scene where one character wants to trick the other character into a bad decision.
- A scene where one character want to complain to another character about his/her bad deeds and have that complaint acknowledged.
- A scene where one character is threatened by another and has to escape the danger.
- A scene where one character wants to confess his/her love for the other, but is afraid the other doesn’t feel the same.
- A scene where one character want to convince another character help him/her achieve a goal.
If we have time, I’d like to talk about brainstorming our short stories.