Presentation on theme: "SIMON HIGGINS POWER OPENINGS & PLANNING MODELS. Use this simple exercise to help you write a powerful story opening Be ready to write 10 sentences – keep."— Presentation transcript:
Use this simple exercise to help you write a powerful story opening Be ready to write 10 sentences – keep them simple, short & clear - don’t add anything that the coach doesn’t ask for The opening involves 2 characters only. If you are a girl, imagine a mother & daughter, if you are a boy, picture a father & son. This opening concerns these 2 characters meeting face to face for the first time in years… Choose your ‘voice’: either use the first person point of view (one of the characters tells the story) OR employ the third person point of view (the writer themselves is the all-knowing narrator) Maintain this same point of view throughout the scene
10 Sentence Opening 1.Write a sentence about the weather & place your characters somewhere (It was a hot and dusty day when they met at the beach) 2.Choose a sound they can hear – don’t over-describe it, but be specific (In the distance a church bell rang) 3.An object – something small, near or between the characters (There was a bonsai tree in a pot on the table between us) 4.Update on the weather – is it changing in any way? (The sun broke through the clouds, OR It started to drizzle) 5.Mention one item of clothing OR an accessory that one of the characters wears or carries (My father wore a old, faded jacket) 6.Repeat the sound from sentence 2. if an intermittent sound, make it happen again, if a continuous sound, have a character (or both of them) notice it once more. 7.Mention the object from sentence 3. again and connect it to a mood or emotion (I looked down at the bonsai tree, and it suddenly looked as trapped as I felt) 8.Whoever wore or carried the article of clothing/accessory in sentence 5, make them now do something with it, some small action (The son removed his cap) 9.Mention one physical trait of one character (My mother had piercing blue eyes) 10.One of the characters finally speaks, and their statement OR question is intriguing, dramatic, or hints at why the pair have been apart for so many years…avoid clichés, keep it subtle.
X X X Bring the main characters into the story as early as possible. What is their problem, mission or quest? The dips indicate comic relief. What lingering questions are still to be answered? What loose ends need tying up? This must be the biggest event or turning point of all. Make twists and complications inventive. Avoid repetition: vary the nature of the conflicts. Each event needs to be bigger or different to the last. …leading into the Introduction
CHARACTER DRIVEN PLANNING Brainstorm or ‘mind map’ a profile of the character whose nature will most drive the story…
REVERSE PLANNING: First write an intriguing, filmic, back-cover ‘blurb’ then expand on it (in 2 OR 3 stages) in order to develop and plot out your story…