Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Back to Normal (???)

Our daughter came home from hospital yesterday, reuniting the family and allowing us to step back to the more passive grand-parenting role. It was great for a few days, but we both breathed a sigh of relief when it was over.

The vegetable garden is fully planted and everything seems to have survived both the patch of hot weather and persistent smoke from the bushfires to the north and east of us so my excuse to work outside has flown and it's back to work on the next story.

This one is interesting. I'm fortunate enough to run short courses in creative writing in our adult education system and part of the exercise in showing how to turn an idea into a story is watching a scene from an entirely forgettable movie starring Ashley Judd and Hugh Jackman. There is no backstory given and no explanation, just the scene in isolation. From this we develop a synopsis and outline the highlights of the story drawn from individual personal experiences. It comes a third of the way through the course, when they know what a story is and what elements it must contain and has proven successful in bringing together the work covered to this point and giving a common thread to the rest of the course.

The Better Man is my own example of the exercise and I use it to illustrate the steps needed to take a simple idea and turn it into a story. It has a synopsis and six highlight scenes written, but no more and each course I'm asked when I intend to write the complete.

When the next course starts in February, I'll be able to say "Now."

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