FIRST PART DUE ON WEDNESDAY 2/10 THE REST CAN BE COMPLETED BY FRIDAY 2/12/16PLEASE DO NO ACCEPT IF YOU CAN NOT FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS.Flannery
O’Connor famously said that as story has a beginning a middle, and an
end. That can sound brilliant or it can sound obvious. This exercise is
intended to make you think through O’Connor’s ideas.
This is a four-part interactive exercise to help you
think creatively and structurally about stories. You’re going to be
generating ideas and releasing them to your classmates, so if you have
something near and dear to your heart you are considering for the
fiction assignment, you might want to post something else.
Decide an ending of a story — e.g., the ship sinks, or the lovers
ride off into the sunset, or the unwanted child is abandoned in the
forest — and then write the last two paragraphs of the story. (DUE WEDNESDAY)Take ONE of your classmates’ posts and respond by writing the first
two paragraphs of their story. You have to think about how to set up the
beginning of a story knowing how it ends! Use the “voice” and the
general style of the initial post. Post as a response to the original post by Friday. (SEE ATTACHED STORY)Take one of the pairs of posts from two of your classmates and write
a description of the middle of the story. How do we get from point B to
point A? You don’t have to assume “voice” as much as you do think
through how the story could work. Post as a response to the original post by Sunday. Post the three parts as a single post so that we can read from start to end:
Writer B’s beginning (verbatim)Your middleWriter A’s ending (verbatim)
You will be posting on numerous different threads in this topic.This is a really cool exercise if everyone gets on board with attending to the different deadlines.
Each of these deadlines is 11:30 PM ET on the date listed.
Your work in Week 6 will need to be posted back to this conference,
located in Week 5 (but linked to Week 6).Jackson Story Structure Exercise
Created by Taylor Jackson on Feb 9, 2016 12:08 AM Subscribe
I put some water on to boil and dropped a bag of chamomile into a chipped mug. As I waited for it to heat, I flipped though the photos we took at Santa Monica Pier
the previous summer. The cobalt waves reflected in Katie’s eyes as she looked through the camera at me as though I was the only other person who existed. It was just a
few weeks later that she had received the diagnosis. Tears came as I noticed the way the bright sunlight illuminated her golden hair like a wicker man in the midnight
desert, and I realized that I would never see her beauty outside of photos again. I exhaled forcefully, suddenly aware that I had been holding my breath as I imagined how
she felt when she took her last few, in that hospital bed as the reflection of those waves faded from her eyes forever. I hoped that she had felt relief, and that she had not
felt fear or pain.
The teakettle began to whistle at the same moment that I collapsed to the kitchen floor, so overcome with grief that, at that second, it could have burned the house
down and I wouldn’t have noticed. Katie was gone forever, and I had stood there in that room, holding her hand, telling her that she could let go, that she didn’t have to
fight anymore. How could I just let her leave me like that? How could she just go? I couldn’t even hear my own sobs over the shriek of the kettle as I simultaneously cursed
us both, knowing that it was unfair of me to expect her to keep hanging on, when we had known for weeks that the treatment wasn’t working, knowing that letting herself
drift away from me was both the hardest and bravest decision she had ever made.
As I finally mustered the strength to reach up and shut off the burner, I felt a tongue across the palm of my other hand, and looked down to see Sophie staring up
into my eyes with a worried look on her face. She had always been Katie’s dog, but now she looked at me the same way Katie had at the Pier the summer before, and I
knew she felt as alone without K as I did. I took her into my arms and, as I stroked her fur, my tears gave way to a new understanding. Katie was taken from me in the
cruelest of ways, and I knew the pain I felt would never fully subside, but Sophie had lost her as well, and now we only had each other. I wiped the tears from my eyes as !
said aloud, “I know.”
Created by Tyler Peters on Feb 9, 2016 9:35 AM
As he peeked around the corner of the bakery it saw him. The creature, the thing had seen him and lunged towards him! He took off running. He ran screaming for help
down the street, past the buildings, past the homes. There was no answer from anyone. He could hear the claws of the creature getting closer and closer on the
pavement. There! an opening in a fence around the junkyard! He dove through the opening head first. Clang! The creature smashed into the fence behind him. As he
pushed up to get moving his leg was stuck. His jeans had been caught by the rusted out piece of fencing. Pulling, grabbing, tearing the jeans it came loose! Just as the
fabric released he caught the eyes of what had been chasing him. His heart sank and his fear froze him solid.
“Get up!” “Move!” the thoughts rang loud and clear in his head. The tentacle like hand was now peeling open the small gap in the fence staring him down. He couldn’t
believe his eyes. then just as the opening was becoming large enough he caught a glimpse out of the corner of his eyes. It was just what he needed to unfreeze his fear
filled body. What caught his eye was a light. The light from the office of the junkyard! He could see someone moving around inside! Just like that his petrified body had
motion. He leapt to his feet and sprinted toward the building. Fear and hope flowed through his veins as he saw the silhouette in the window. He bound up the three
stairs the door and as he reached for the door knob he felt it. The sting of what felt like 1,000 needles wrapped around his leg and began pulling him back. He could feel
the skin on his begin to tear and twist. The door swung open!
He jolted awake! His heart was racing but began to calm. It had been a dream. His heavy breathing began to mellow. He thought to himself. It was so real So real” He
was relieved to know it was a dream. With sweat pouring down his face he pulled the covers off and swung his legs out to walk around and cool off. As the feeling of the
cold hardwood floor met his bare feet he collapsed to the floor. He looked down towards his feet and the same fear he had lying in front of the fence in his dream filled
his body. The hand, the tentacle like hand was there! It was there, morbid and grotesque. The blood streamed down his leg to his foot. He looked up to the bed and the
figure he saw in his dream in the office was there. It was the girl that he had gone home with the night before. She stared into his eyes and as he looked for an
explanation she calmly said. “You should have never peeked around the bakery.”
Story Structure Ending response
Created by Kristina Nguyen on Feb 8, 2016 10:24 PM
The lake seemed dead tonight, not a ripple of movement stirred across the glassy surface. There he sat in the middle of the calm, alone, thinking. What exactly had
happened and was it really all over? Just a few days ago everything seemed so crazy. He wasn’t even sure he would have a place to call home by the end. Funny how that
all seems like a hazy dream far off now and he has two places he can call home. His new friends had made that fact pretty clear.
He closed his eyes, inhaled deeply, and welcomed the peace that filled his lungs. Why had it been years since he visited this lake? It seemed only fitting that this week
would come to a close here of all places. He looked up at the stars and reflected on the events of the week. Yeah, this was the perfect place to be, he thought, remembering
his first look through a telescope twenty years ago in that very spot. That was the day he first began to understand the vastness of the universe.
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