"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Sons of the Pioneers theme for TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon artist's musings melding metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Finding the drama--taking a trip workshop--III

Here is a version of the finding the drama workshop page for my workshop session for the Oklahoma City Writers group at Full Circle Bookstore.

(Grabbing the Reader)
Your job—find the drama, organize it. Most written drama uses action words, short words, short paragraphs, to make the reader wonder what’s next, to think “Huh?”

How do I find drama? 
  • Sense of mystery
  • Mystery pronouns and nouns
  • Conflict
  • Raises questions
  • Contrasts
  • Twists
  • Missing facts
  • Specific details
  • Unexplained responses
  • Ominous detail

Organizing for drama--Storyboarding
Write this sentence before you write anything else:
“This is a story about ___________________________________________________
and it’s interesting because___________________________________________”

  • What makes it interesting? Is that not the drama?
  • Select the main scenes of your story (think of a TV commercial or movie)
  • Hinge your scenes on events (things that happen—verbs)
  • Scenes usually have action, characters and setting
  • List scenes in sequence
  • Choose most dramatic as first scene
  • What is last scene?
  • Always second guess

Tell me a story
  • Remember a trip you’ve taken
  • List, briefly, WWWWWH
  • Draw a map, where you started, where you ended
  • List three things that happened at separate places
  • Label them A,B,C and place on the map
  • What’s the most interesting scene?
  • Why? (This is a story about and it’s interesting because__________)
  • Describe the scene in one sentence.
  • What are key verbs?
  • Write one first sentence to grab my attention—20 words maximum

The writer’s first commandment
“Tell me a story; make it interesting.”

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