Homework: write opening and first scenes, try to introduce aspects of the characters without explicitly referencing them.
Jeff leaned over the guard rails of the bed. His eyes were bloodshot and his cheeks were wet with tears. The little girl looked jaundice, her skin was getting more yellow. The only colour Jeff could see was the blood stained bandages wrapping her arms and legs. Her body was like a rag doll that the dog had been throwing about. Dr. Barrett placed his hand on Jeff's shoulder and in a deep comforting voice said, "Come on Jeff, there's not much you can do here. Come into my office and you can go through some of the details of what happened to Emily". Dr. Barrett helped Jeff to his feet and put his black arm around Jeff's waist. They walked slowly towards the door. Jeff's breathing quickened each time he placed his right foot down: Dr. Barrett's arm muscle flexed as they moved in time. It was only a small hospital on the edge of the reserve which worried Jeff. Emily seemed too weak to be moved and he wasn't sure if the facilities here would be enough.
- The rag doll reference is a nice simile.
- Reader is thrown in a the deep end, harsh on the reader.
- Good opening line.
- There's a good example of "Showing" which is describing the picture instead of "Telling" which is explaining what the picture is. Jeff was injured too.
To cut a long story short
This week's lesson was about condensing a story into the fewest words possible but still include a beginning, middle and an end. Ernest Hemingway said that the best story he ever wrote was:
For sale: baby shoes, never worn
It's a synopsis of a story.
"Excessive drinking with a mystery woman, son"
Homework for next time:
- Start with a 6 word story.
- Break it up into a beginning of 75 words and middle of 75 words and an end of 50 words.
- Split the beginning up into a beginning, middle and end. Include 3 crisis points in the beginning, 6 crisis points in the middle and 2 in the end.
- 6 word story should be 6 words.
- First story draft should be 300 words.
- Final story should be 3000 words.
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