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Name:____________________________

__________________

Date:

Elements of Short
Story Writing
Workbook for
Creative Writing I

The activities in this workbook will prepare you to


write a short story.
Directions: Inside you will find pages that will explain and ask you to understand
and demonstrate elements of short story writing. Anything marked
ASSIGNMENT is something you will need to complete. Since all of these

assignments are practice, think of them as specific journal topics I will have your
write about. You will be graded based on completeness, effort and willingness to
discuss and share your ideas. Every day an assignment is due I will check and
stamp the page according to how complete it is. When we complete this packet,
you will hand it in and I will give you an overall grade based on your effort.

Creative Writing I: Aspects of Various Genres of Literature


The first thing to do when preparing to write a story is figure out what type or genre of
story you would like to write. Below are aspects of a variety of genres. READ them and
figure out what youre interested in.
Science Fiction

Stories are set in the future or in another realm of existence in the


present.
Fantastic capabilities and inventions make the present way of life seem
archaic.
The exploration of the unknown is common.
The resolution sometimes teaches a lesson or leaves some questions
unanswered.
Mystery

The protagonist is usually trying to solve a crime or problem.


The stories usually contain danger, suspense, foreshadowing, elements
of horror and the solution to a crime.
Many times the stories will have plot twists.

Comedy
Sometimes they are a satire on human weaknesses
Other times a mistake by a character has caused a domino effect to
occur
Tactics sometimes include irreverent humor using surprise and ridicule
Usually they have a happy ending and sometimes end with a moral or
lesson.
Romance

Deals with relationships between couples


Attractive and/or positive role model hero or heroine
Something usually complicates the otherwise perfect romance
Usually contain passion, betrayal, soap opera themes

Fantasy

Contain improbable characters, events and places not found in real life
Usually involves the supernatural or magic or other forms of
imaginative ideas
Fairy Tales, Sci-Fi, Horror, and True Fantasy usually include elements
of fantasy.
Real Drama

Usually these stories are about the trials and tribulations of life.
Characters are usually normal, average people.

The plot usually revolves around some conflict that causes a break
from the norm.
The reader usually learns something from the resolution.
Horror

Stories contain evil characters doing harm to others.


Stories may include gory details, suspense and plots that include
aspects of fantasy.
The goal of this type of story is usually to scare the reader.
Action

Stories usually contain one strong protagonist hero and one evil antagonist
Stories contain a variety of suspenseful and action oriented plot events:
fights, car chases, technological weaponry, military tactics etc.

NOTE: Sometimes short stories will combine more than one genre. For example, real
drama and romance or horror and mystery are common combinations.

Assignment: Aspects of Various Genres of


Literature Due:_________
Directions: Read through the Aspects of Various Genres of Literature. You will
be writing your own short story as your final project. The sooner you can figure out
what your plot will be about, the better. Pick two genres you are interested in
writing in for a short story. Answer the questions below for each genre.
Genre 1:_________________________________
What are typical characters in this genre?

What is a typical plot for this genre?

Give some examples of a TV, movie, book, short story example of this genre.

Why are you interested in writing in this genre?

What ideas do you have for conflicts for this type of genre?

Genre 2:_________________________________
What are typical characters in this genre?

What is a typical plot for this genre?

Give some examples of a TV, movie, book, short story example of this genre.

Why are you interested in writing in this genre?

What ideas do you have for conflicts for this type of genre?

Assignment: Characterization Notes (do in class)


To develop characters, writers rely on the techniques of characterization. There are
two types of characterization and there are four basic methods to achieve them. As
short story writers, you should strive to use these methods in your stories.
Type One-Direct Characterization:_____________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
Ex. Chris was a 26-year old mechanic who had worked at the airport for two years.
He had a rugged face and leathery hands.
Type Two-Indirect Characterization:___________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
Ex. Grandma said, The only time Ill need help getting anywhere is when I die and
they have to lift me into the ground. (By her dialogue you infer she is a strong
willed individual who always does things on her own.)
Four methods of characterization: (Write each below and any other
details you want from the overhead slide)
1.__________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
2.__________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
3.__________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
4.__________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
Go to my website to see the examples of each type of characterization if
you need to see them again.
Types of characters:
Primary:____________________________________________________________________________
Protagonist:_________________________________________________________
Example:______________________________________________
Antagonist:__________________________________________________________
Example:______________________________________________
Secondary: ________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
Examples:__________________________________________________________________________
Background:_______________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
Examples:__________________________________________________________________________

A Checklist for Characterization


All characters from primary to background, should meet the following requirements:
1. Each character should have at least one objectivewhat he/she needs to get
accomplished.
2. Each character should have motivationa reason why he/she needs to
accomplish his/her objective.
3. Every character should be given a life. It is up to you to decide how
important each character is. This will warrant how developed they are.
4. Character, plot and setting must be interrelated. You cant have one and not
the other. You must make them all believable.

Assignment: Creating a Character Due:_________


Directions: After you decide what genre you want to write you need to invent
characters. Invent a primary character in your mind. This could be a character
similar to who you are, or someone completely new and different. If you already
have an idea for your final short story, pick a character from your plot idea. (If you
need help, I have a folder full of magazine pictures of people if you need help.)
Practicing with direct characterization: Describe what the character looks like.
(Pretend you have to describe him/her to someone who cant see the person.) Be
sure to describe looks, clothes, expression etc.
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
Since bringing a character to life requires thinking of a characters background and
feelings, answer the following questions based on what you think about your
character. (Yes, I know its superficial.)
What is the characters full name?
How old is the character?
What is the characters occupation?
What is the characters relationship status?

Does this character have any pets? If so, what?


Where does the character live?
How do you think that this characters room or home is decorated?
What other places would this character go to on a regular basis?
What is the characters religion?
What type of music/television does this character enjoy?
What are the characters hobbies?
What is this character afraid of?
What type of friends does this character have?
What is this characters most distinguishing feature? (What do you notice the most
about him/her/it?)
What is this characters financial status?
What are this characters goals or dreams?
What does the character feel strongly about?
If the character could have three wishes, what would they be?
Any other details/characteristics you want to add?

NOW, who are the other characters in your characters life. Below, explain them
based on the type of character they fit with:
Antagonists name and problem he/she causes: ___________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________
Secondary Characters names and relationship:_____________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
Background Characters names and relationship:
____________________________________________________________________________________

Assignment: Short Story Elements Reminder (Do in


class)
Even though I KNOW youve been taught the elements of a short story, Im going to
remind you of them anyway. (Too many kids still ask me what dialogue is, what
an exposition is and what point of view means.yes, I know who you are. )
Fill in the blanks
Plot: _______________________________________________________________________________
Exposition:_________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
Conflict:____________________________________________________________________________
Rising Action:______________________________________________________________________
Complications:_____________________________________________________________________
Climax:____________________________________________________________________________
Falling Action:______________________________________________________________________
Resolution:_________________________________________________________________________
Dialogue:__________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
Scenes:____________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________

Setting:____________________________________________________________________________
Point of View:______________________________________________________________________
Theme:____________________________________________________________________________

Now, remember these terms. If you forget them,


Ill tell you to look back to this page.
Assignment:

Conflict Due:_________

One single conflict is what drives a short story. When you put conflict into a
situation, its like putting gas in a car. Without gas, the car cant go down the road.
Without conflict, the story isnt going anywhere either. For this assignment, youre
going to play God and give your primary character drama!
There are four main types of conflict in literature.
Character vs. Character
Two or more characters are at odds.
Character vs. Society
The character is for some reason, frowned on by society or those in power.
Character vs. Nature
The character must fight against natural forces to survive.
Character vs. Self
This type of conflict takes place in the characters own heart and mind as he
or she tries to decide what to do about a problem situation.
Think of the primary character you created and all of his/her secondary
character relationships. In the lines provided, write an example of a
conflict your character could have based on each type.
Character vs. Character____________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
Character vs. Society_______________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________

Character vs. Nature_______________________________________________________________


____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
Character vs. Self__________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________

Assignment: Setting Notes (Do in class)


Now that you have a primary character and several conflict possibilities, its time to
learn about how to develop a setting. This will help you start the exposition of your
story, since setting, character and conflict all take place in the exposition.
Purposes of setting:________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
Rules of setting:____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
Ways to develop tone by using setting:_____________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
Example 1: Sometimes a setting can be developed to show who a
character is and what his/her conflict is immediately. Below youll see a
classroom through the eyes of a boy who is taking a test.
I wish I wouldve studied for my final exam. I have to pass this class. I swear
my nervousness is making all the distractions in this room more annoying than
usual. I think Im going to freak out. This room feels hotter than that July day I
spent at Six Flags waiting for that coaster I had to drag my ex-girlfriend on. Was

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that one Michelle or Mandy? Whatever. Ok, question one Argh! That stupid girl
behind me that raises her hand more than Hermione Granger keeps sneezing those
little tiny sneezes that shouldnt even be called sneezes. They sound more like high
pitched hiccups. And that stupid fluorescent light above me keeps flickering. I
swear its going to give me a seizure. This test is worth over 200 points and I dont
even know the answer to the first question. What the heck is slope again?
The sun does feel good on my back though. Out the window all I can see is
blue sky and green leaves. SUMMER!! Man, I cant wait to go to Red Granite with
Kirsten. Shell be wearing that bikini
Sigh. That stupid nerdy kid next to me is flying through this test so fast hes
had to sharpen his pencil twice already. Even my buddy Todd is bugging me
because he has this annoying habit of tapping his pencil on the desk. I just want to
scream at him, DUDE! Youre not little drummer boy. STOP or Im going to punch
you.
This test is going to kill me. I wont go to summer school again this year. I
cant. Mrs. Ronson keeps staring out the window. I bet she wont notice if I take a
little lookie at cargo-pants-boys answers when he goes to sharpen his pencil again.
Questions for Example 1:
Describe the protagonist. What type of guy is he?

What do you think the conflict of this story will be?

Example 2: Sometimes setting can be developed immediately, by itself.


This helps set the scene, show the tone, give background information and
introduce the conflict of the plot. Read the example and answer the
questions below and you will see how the rules and purposes of setting
are highlighted in this piece.
It was a two-story retail block, old and gray, a bunch of stores with
apartments above and basements below. The store on the 21st Street end was
vacant, its front door and window glass soaped behind a rusted security cage. The
side window facing 21st street was barred. At the other end was a paint store, its
front window clouded with grime and filled by a shadowy pyramid of gallon cans, its
front door secured with a heavy chain and padlock. The grocery store was in the
middle. An old white sign hung at a precarious angleStanolskis Deli. Two broad
cement steps ascended to a door flanked by barred windows on which hung paper
signs: Milk $2.89 a gallon; Bananas $.59 cents a pound. On the door itself, handlettered in large cursive blue ink: Welcome, Friends. Only the grocery and the
apartment above it were lit from within. A flickering streetlight cast the rest in a
nervous, sickly light.
Paint stores been closed for months, Ben said. His breath steamed in the
air, thin little clouds quickly shredded by the bitter wind. He swung a canvas duffle
over his shoulder.

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His companion, a thin man clad in a dark sweatshirt and dirty blue jeans
nodded. Lets do it, he said in a gravelly voice.
They crossed the street quickly, an old beer can bounced across the street
behind them. Their eyes were fixed on the grocery store, hands in their pockets.
Questions for Example 2:
1. Is this a city, a small town, or a country setting? What year is it? How do you
know this?
2. What are Ben and the other character going to do? What do you think the
conflict of this story will be?
3. Who do you think lives in the apartment above the grocery store? Explain his/her
character based on the info ex. 2 gives you.
4. Why is the building described in such detail? What is the overall tone of this
setting?

Examples in Setting the Tone of a Story


How you choose to describe your setting will help set the tone for your story. What the
weather is like, what actions are occurring and how a character feels about his or her setting
can help set the tone or overall emotion for your story. Below are two examples of the same
setting described positively and then negatively. Notice the different feel of each piece.
Each of these is s start to a story.
Positive:
Craig parked his Civic in the visitors lot and began to walk. The spring air was clean
and the grass was starting to green up. He couldnt believe it had already been ten years.
The A/C building occupied the north end of campus. The tan brick building was still
surrounded by abstract metal art pieces. Craig remembered how these circles and boxes
always beckoned him like friends and invited his creativity amongst the drabness of
Oshkosh. The theatre was in the north side of the building. Walking into the auditorium,
Craig breathed deeply. The smells of fresh sawdust, make-up, and the sweat and toil of
thousands of actors seemed to leak from the walls and come together to make the smell he
knew as the Fredric March Theatre, affectionately called the Fred by its caretakers.
The hallway was quiet, but as always the Freds walls seemed to whisper the lines of
the characters that had been created and destroyed for the past forty years. Posters and
pictures of the previous production, Gypsy, hung on the bulletin board where he used to
post rehearsal times for the play he directed his senior year. Craig slid open the heavy
metal stage door and stepped on to the stage for the first time since 1997. The floor of the
jet black stage was cracked and covered with a million miniscule dots of color from all the
worlds that had been created. He thought he even recognized the red pizza pie color he
picked for the walls of The Boys Next Door. All at once, like those times you remember you
are alive, he felt the magic envelop him again.
He couldnt wait to find Dr. Grubidge and tell her the news.
Negative:

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I made a left turn on High St. and followed the familiar black and yellow signs for UWOshkosh. My Civic bumped along the pot hole ridden street. With all that parking ticket
money I forked out to those meter Nazis youd think theyd fix this poor excuse for a street.
I followed the signs to visitor parking and like years ago, found the lot to be crammed full of
college kids cars. I turned in and wove up and down the aisles until I found a spot next to a
rusty blue Buick Century. As I slid out of my car and grabbed my pack, I noticed this car
actually had a commuter lot sticker. Wheres Rita the meter maid now? I used to get
nailed for parking in the visitor lot all the time. Paybacks a. My thoughts trailed off when I
felt the weight of the day on my shoulders. Ray was dead.
The A/C building was on the farthest end of campus, a hefty walk from the Scott
dorms. I used to think it was put there like a bad kid gets put in the corner. My freshman
friends always told me college was for partying not creativity and when I walked to the
theatre I always felt like I was going to a place where I could be the real me, not the me I
was for them.
The spring wind was bitter, cutting through my thin fleece jacket and making my
body erupt into goose bumps. It was April and snow still lined the sidewalk, and the sun, like
a baby chicken trying to hatch, couldnt quite push the shell of clouds away. Ahead of me I
could see the tall loft roof of the Fredric March Theatre, the place Ray and I lived at for a
good three years of college when we finally found ourselves.
Hey Craig, come to the Fred with me Rays voice whispers in my head. Ill never
forget those words. A few minutes later I found myself opening those institutional glass
doors and walking down the hall. The smells of old wood and dusty drapes weighed down
the air in this place. My eyes scanned the Wall of Fame until I saw the cast/crew picture
from The Music Man. Ray was dressed as Howard, his pale bald head I still remember the
day he shaved his long black hair off for the part. My eyes fell from the photo and I
concentrated on the poster advertising Gyspy until my eyes stopped stinging. The stage
door I could never quite close gaped open and I found my feet shuffling across the old stage
floor. The flaking black paint was as dark as the news I had to deliver.
Ray was dead, and I had to find Dr. Grubidge and tell her.

ASSIGNMENT: STARTING A STORY Due:_________


Directions: Develop and write a setting that incorporates THE CHARACTER YOU
CREATED IN YOUR CHARACTER SKETCH ASSIGNMENT. If you have an idea for your
final short story, think of this assignment as the beginning of your story. The
setting you write will start to develop your conflict.

For example, pick a place you character would normally be. Describe it as if
he/she is there doing what he/she would normally do there. This would follow
example one.

Another possibility is just to describe the setting so we can visualize it. Bring
your character in at the end like you saw in example two.

Write your setting below, filling up all the lines.

_____________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________
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_____________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________
Now, answer a few questions about what you wrote.

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1. What does this setting show about who your character is?

2. What does this setting show about any other characters?

3. Based on the setting, what year is it?

4. Based on the setting, what type of conflict will be emerging from this exposition?

5. Explain what you think will happen next.

6. What genre is this story going to be?

Assignment: Point of View Notes (Do in class)


Besides thinking about character, setting and plot, short story writers need to think
about what point of view to write their stories in. Each point of view has pros and
cons.
First person point of view definition: __________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
Pros-_______________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
Cons-______________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
Third person limited point of view definition:_________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________

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____________________________________________________________________________________
Pros-_______________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
Cons-______________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
Third person omniscient point of view definition:_____________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
Pros-_______________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
Cons-______________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________

Examples of Point of View


1st Person POV
I thought the day would never come. It was Tuesday during math class, my
worst subject. Noon recess had just ended, and I was struggling over my
subtraction work. 108-72. I was trying my best to use the touchpointsbut I forgot
how to do ten. I thought I could use my fingers and Mrs. Hager wouldnt see me
she had a thing for us using our fingers. Unfortunately she noticed and that was
what caused me to look up. My eyes grazed past the windows overlooking the
parking lot and not even Mrs. Hagers piercing screech could crack the emotion that
the image before me was casting. Snowflakes as big as the tip of my finger were
floating down like the confetti my mom threw off the balcony on New Years Eve. I
had one thought then and one thought only, when was school out and where was
my sled?

Third Person Limited POV


Jason looked down sadly at his math assignment. He had just gotten in from
recess and was slightly sweaty from the thirty-three degree weather he had been
playing flag football in. He rubbed his knee and saw that the December ground he
had fallen on gave him a grass stain. Grass stains in December? He should be
dripping water from the melted snow, not sweat, he thought. He sighed and
continued trying to figure out the answer to 108-72. He was getting frustrated. He

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hated math and could only think of one thing, snow. How he longed for it to snow.
He wanted to play in it, throw snowballs and more importantlysled. He began to
look down at his fingers, in a desperate attempt to figure out his math when Mrs.
Hagers scolding voice caused him to jerk his head up. His eyes slid by the windows
and froze. A huge, white, fluffy snowflake was dancing down to the ground. Jason
beamed, and for an instant he was out sledding, until Mrs. Hagers voice snapped
him back to reality. How he hated math.
Third Person Omniscient POV
Mrs. Hager hated this time of year. As she looked out onto her classroom of
second graders she could see the restlessness in their eyes. It was the middle of
December and it hadnt snowed yet, very unusual weather for northern Wisconsin.
She didnt even have to wear a jacket today. The weather was still in the forties
and her wool sweater was perfect. She didnt mind the weather, being a North
Carolina native, forties was cold enough for her.
Jason on the other hand hated the current weather pattern. The eight year
old loved snow. He loved the way it looked, felt and tasted. He had gotten his sled
up from the basement four weeks ago in anticipation, and since had seen it collect
dust. He even had put his baseball stuff away and gotten it back out three separate
times now based on false alarms. He was beginning to think that weathermen were
just as suspicious as Santa Claus.
The first snowflakes began to fall around one. Mrs. Hager hoped the
students, who were busily completing their math assignment, wouldnt notice. She
knew mass chaos would break out, and already having a headache from Tom
Moders little outburst during Science, she didnt think she could handle twentyseven different reactions to snow.
Jason noticed the flakes first. She knew she shouldnt have scolded him for
using his fingers to do his subtraction. He immediately thought of his sled and the
ramp he and Taylor were going to build. He poked Chad and pointed. He saw the
exasperated look on Mrs. Hagers face, but couldnt contain himself. Winter had
finally begun!

Assignment: Point of View Due:_________


Directions: Using the character you created earlier, develop a short scene in a
minimum of one paragraph, in which you practice each type of POV. Label each
example accordingly. Write your response below and be prepared to share with two
other classmates.
Think of one of the conflicts you invented earlier in this workbook OR If you need
help, below are some ideas for scenes:
A holiday get-together
A party
A reaction to something sad
A reaction to something happy or surprising
Your character walks into his/her living room to find.
Any sort of conflict the character would have with a secondary
character
1st Person Point of View: ___________________________________________________________

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____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
3rd Person Limited Point of View: ___________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
3rd Person Omniscient Point of View:________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________

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____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________

Based on what you wrote, which one do you like the best? _________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________

Why?______________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________

Assignment: Dialogue Notes (Do in class)


Definition of dialogue: _____________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
Functions of dialogue:
1. _________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
2.__________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
3.__________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
4.__________________________________________________________________________________

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____________________________________________________________________________________
Dialogue Terms to Know:
Tag Lines:__________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
Inner Monologue:__________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
Beats:______________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________

Assignment: Dialogue Punctuation


Due:_________
Reminders:
1.__________________________________________________________________________________
Example: Oh, man!! That cop just saw me throw that rock at that car. Run! Jeff
said.
2.__________________________________________________________________________________
Example: Sit down. This is going to take awhile for me to explain, said Mr.
Stevens.
3.__________________________________________________________________________________
Example:
Sit down. This is going to take awhile for me to explain, said Mr. Stevens.
But, I have baseball practice and we have a game tomorrow, Thomas
whined.
Well, since your grade is an F, youre coach told me he wont play you
anyway.
4.__________________________________________________________________________________

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Example: Youll start to feel sleepy, murmured the hypnotist. Very sleepy.
Now, practice fixing the dialogue below by re-writing it on the lines:
what is the motive for the crime asked Watson.
____________________________________________________________________________________
Im really hungry John said
____________________________________________________________________________________
I found this wallet underneath my girlfriends car seat I said. Where do you think
she found it Mike asked. No clue. I looked at the I.D. but I dont know who the guy
is I said. Do you think shes cheating on you asked Mike.
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________

Assignment: Identifying examples of beats in


the short story A Sound of Thunder by Ray
Bradbury (Do in class)
This an excerpt from a story most of you read in English 10. Heres a quick
summary in case you forgot or never read the story A hunter name Deckles pays
a company to take him back to prehistoric times to shoot a dinosaur. Travis, the
hunting guide, tells Deckles of the dangers of the hunt and that if any of the people
would disrupt the environment there would be drastic changes to the present when
they returned. Deckles falls off the path and steps on a butterfly. When they return
to the present, one of the biggest changes is that Deutscher is now president. The
story ends with A Sound of Thunder.
Look at the two excerpts below. Using a few different colors, label the types of
beats.
Action beat
Direct Characterization Beat
Tone in tag line beat

21

This excerpt is from the beginning of the story when Deckles goes to Time Safari,
Inc.
Unbelievable, Deckles breathed, the light of the Machine on his thin face.
A real Time Machine. He shook his head. Makes you think. If the election had
gone badly yesterday, I might be here now running away from the results. Thank
God Keith won. He'll make a fine President of the United States.
Yes, said the man behind the desk. We're lucky. If Deutscher had gotten
in, we'd have the worst kind of dictatorship. There's an anti-everything man for
you, a militarist, anti-Christ, anti-human, anti-intellectual. People called us up, you
know, joking but not joking. Said if Deutscher became President they wanted to go
live in 1492. Of course it's not our business to conduct Escapes, but to form Safaris.
Anyway, Keith's President now. All you got to worry about is
Shooting my dinosaur, Deckles finished it for him.
A Tyrannosaurus Rex. The Thunder Lizard, the damnedest monster in
history. Sign this release. Anything happens to you, we're not responsible. Those
dinosaurs are hungry.
Deckles flushed angrily. Trying to scare me!
Frankly, yes. We don't want anyone going who'll panic at the first shot. Six Safari
leaders were killed last year, and a dozen hunters. We're here to give you the best
thrill a real hunter ever asked for. Traveling you back sixty million years to bag the
biggest game in all Time. Your personal check's still there. Tear it up.
Mr. Deckles looked at the check for a long time. His fingers twitched.

This excerpt is from the part of the story when the hunters are walking on the metal
path looking for the dinosaur:
Deckles, balanced on the narrow Path, aimed his rifle playfully.
Stop that! said Travis. Don't even aim for fun, blast you! If your gun
should go off
Deckles flushed. Where's our Tyrannosaurus?
Esperance checked his wrist watch. Up ahead. We'll bisect his trail in sixty
seconds. Look for the red paint, for God's sake. Don't shoot till we give the word.
Stay on the Path. Stay on the Path!

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They moved forward in the wind of morning.


Strange, murmured Deckles. Up ahead, sixty million years, Election Day
over. Keith made President. Everyone celebrating. And here we are, a million
years lost, and they don't exist. The things we worried about for months, a lifetime, not even born or thought about yet.
Safety catches off, everyone! ordered Travis. You, first shot, Deckles.
Second, Billings. Third, Kramer.
I've hunted tiger, wild boar, buffalo, elephant, but Jesus, this is it, said
Deckles. I'm shaking like a kid.
Ah, said Travis. Everyone stopped. Travis raised his hand. Ahead, he
whispered. In the
mist. There he is. There's His Royal Majesty now.

Now, answer the following questions and you will see how these two excerpts show
the functions of dialogue.
1. How does the dialogue strengthen the storys reality?

2. Describe Deckles based on his dialogue

3. Describe Travis based on his dialogue.

4. What type of relationship does the man behind the desk and Travis have with
Deckles?

5. What is some necessary information that we learn based on what the characters
say?

How to Type Inner Monologue in a Story


There is not set rule as to how you have to type out inner monologue. Below are
some examples of how the pros do it. Decide which way works for you and keep it
consistent.
Dialogue Quotation Style: From Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell from
separate scenes:

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I must get home! thought Scarlett. I must get home!


My! My! he thought helplessly. She can get mad quicker and stay mad
longer than any woman I ever saw.
Italics Style: From The Stand by Stephen King in a scene where a character is
wondering if something actually happened:
Drowsiness began to steal over him now that his thirst was a little slaked. He was
nearly asleep when a polar thought slipped up through the floor of his mind like an
icy stiletto blade:
What if Cibola had been a mirage?
No, he muttered. No, uh-uh, no.
From Ordinary People by Judith Guest in a scene where two parents are
arguing about their son:
He leans his elbows on the bar, his back to her.
Im tired of you getting your feelings hurt, Cal, because you refuse to see
things as they really are.
And how are things? he asks, turning around. How are they really?
She is so lovely, so lovely. That white skin and the pale, lavender silk of the
dress, the honeyed hair, loose about her face. What are we fighting about?
Hes not your little boy, she says.
Un-Punctuated Style: From Twilight by Stephanie Meyer in a scene when Bella
first sees Edward in the lunch room:
His mouth was moving very quickly, his perfect lips barely opening. The other three
still looked away, and yet I felt he was speaking quietly to them.
Strange, unpopular names, I thought. The kinds of names grandparents had.
But maybe that was in vogue here--- small town names? I finally remembered that
my neighbor was called Jessica in my History class back home.
They arevery nice-looking. I struggled with the conspicuous
understatement.
For further help, Read from Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and
Dave King. Youre welcome to look at the whole book, but the two chapters I would
like you to skim through are Ch. 7 (Interior Monologue pg. 116) and 8 (Easy
Beats pg. 140). These chapters will show you how to use inner monologue and
beats in your dialogue. I will give you time in class to look at this book, but if you
want to take it home you will need to check it out.
You will have a quiz on dialogue punctuation and inner monologue and
beats on :______________.

Assignment: Writing A Scene of Dialogue


Due:_________
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Directions: With the character you created, write a scene of dialogue where you
are using all of the aspects of dialogue you have learned:
Punctuation
Paragraphing
Inner Monologue
Beats
Functions
If you have an idea for your story, this could be a section of your plot.
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How do you write a story?


A few guidelines

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In a story you need to bring your idea to life by showing your reader your setting,
your characters and your plot. Below are a few ways to do that. Stories start with
an exposition or beginning. As you know from reading stories, the exposition shows
you the setting and introduces you to the characters. It will finish off by bringing in
the conflict.
There are a few ways you can start your exposition:

Start with a paragraph or two just describing the setting.


Ex.
The old house on the corner of 1st and Matthews had been
deserted for ten years. Any time there was a brisk wind the paint
would flake off and neighbors would see it fluttering through the air
like snow. The shutters hung at crooked angles

Start with a line of dialogue from one of your characters.


Ex.
What do you mean that house is haunted? said Kevin as he
stood outside the old house on the corner of 1st and Matthews.
Did you hear what Mrs. York said in Math today? said Marian.
She said that house has been known to glow at night and no ones
lived there for years!

Start with general background information that helps set up the idea
in your story.

Ex.
The town of Bear Creek was getting ready for Halloween. Many
of the people living in
the town had decorated their houses with
orange lights, inflated ghost and witch decorations
and of course jacko-lanterns. Kevin was excited to go trick-or-treating with his friends Marian
and Justin. There was one house that they wanted to avoid

Start by describing your protagonist or main character.


Ex.
Kevin was your average teen. He though school was ok, loved
to hang out with his friends and of course loved a good adventure,
especially if it required him to break a few rules. There was nothing
better than getting away with something.

Start by introducing the conflict or problem


Ex.
Kevin flipped open his cell phone when he heard the familiar
beep of an incoming text
message. I dare you to go into the haunted house... flashed on his
screen. It was a text from Justin, and Kevin knew he couldnt back
down from any dare.

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