Explore Personal Feelings
Have you ever felt so strongly about something that you lost control of your emotions or the way you acted? What event or situation in your life made you lose control? Jot down in note form what happened, how you felt at the time, how you felt afterwards, and how the situation was resolved.
Use your notes to write a story about that incident. You might use a structure similar to “War.” The beginning could introduce the main characters and the problem or situation. The middle section could explore how everyone had to deal with this problem. The climax could occur when you (or your character) lose control. The end could briefly describe how everything was resolved.
When you write your story, how do you write conversations between characters? Could your style be improved? How?
Who is the hero in this story? Explain why you think so.
What is the turning point? In what way does Michelle change?
What is the overall message and mood?
Why is humour an important part of this story?
Why do you think Alison Lohans calls her story “The Michelle I Know”?
Investigate drawing a plot diagram for this story. Use an online tool or draw your own chart. Complete it by adding story details under each of the following: exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution.
Have you read other stories like “The Michelle I know”? Discuss these stories. How were their plots similar or different? How could you use a plot diagram the next time you write your own short story?
Write a Short Story
In most good stories the characters undergo a significant change, just as Michelle does. Think about, and jot down, some ideas for a short story about an ordinary person who undergoes a significant change. Which idea would make an entertaining story for an audience of your peers?
Write an outline for your short story, including notes on the following: main character and personality, setting, conflict, initial incident, rising action, changes, climax, and conclusion/denouement/resolution. Use this outline to write a first draft. Ask a partner to give you feedback about improving your story. Revise your draft using this feedback.