The Last of Us begins in a small town in the U.S. Only by listening to TV Reports, reading old new papers and listening to what other people say, are you able to understand that it’s 2013, and an unknown disease is infecting the population. From there the plot jumps ahead to the year 2033, twenty years afterwards to again, learn only through information given as old articles, newsprint, and the memories of those who have survived that a fungal- based, brain-altering pandemic has spread and infected nearly 60% of the world's population (possibly even more). Survivors of the pandemic are assigned to designated quarantine zones that are supposed to separate them from the infected and keep them safe. As you play the game, you learn more about the history of the 20 skipped years, as well as the history of the characters.
Once you’ve been given each a different example, read the short narrative silently to yourself. PLEASE DON’T MARK THE CLASS SETS! Once finished, share out with the three other students in your group of four. Describe: How did the author use In Medias Res? What other ways did s/he use to ‘hook’ you as a reader. On the “My Harmatia” page in your logbook, try writing the intro of your narrative “In Medias Res.” Try using the same techniques (or your own) to not only hook the reader, but explain/infer what the narrative’s topic is. (Your Flaw) If there is time, share your intro with your group.
Vague description: “The car sort of hit the other one. Then things got bad. It was the worst night ever.” “My mom’s Porsche careened out of control on the icy road. Slamming into the gold colored Chevy Citation, the candy-apple red of our car scrunched into a mangled shape – ripped, torn, and broken apart. It looked like the aftermath of Christmas presents being opened. I could smell gas and heard screams of people who were trying to help, but I don’t know who they were; I didn’t want to open my eyes. I didn’t want to see how bad the accident was, or how injured I might be. If I didn’t see it, then it wasn’t real. I could just hear the wail of sirens….”
Silly or unneeded description: “He was tall…. He was as tall as a six foot three inch tree.” “He was tall…. Like a Redwood, so tall that you could barely see the top of him.” “The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn't.” “The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly like a leaf, skittering across the water, driven by a gentle breeze.”
“Stuff and Things”: “In a panic, I grabbed the stuff I needed….” “In a panic, I grabbed everything I needed for my tornado experiments: a flashlight, duct tape, tinfoil, and my little brother’s spider- man kite.” “She screamed an threw things at me.” “Screaming, she threw the frying pan, a half- empty pop can, and the egg carton – full of eggs, I might add – at my head.”
Writing your Narrative * Dialogue and Self-Editing
Used when two or more characters are speaking. Indicated by “quotes” and usually identifying who was speaking: i.e. I said, “you use quotes when indicating that someone is speaking.” (The word ‘said’ above, is very vague…. Are their other words that describe how the dialogue is said? Growled, stammered, shrieked, whispered, etc….)
When a person begins speaking, treat it as a new paragraph. … the stovetop burst into pink and purple flames. Sarah screamed, “Look out!” I shouted, “Why is the fire pink and purple?” But no one listened to me, as they were all scrambling to the front door and safety.