Write a detailed narrative account of a struggle or conflict between two people in which you show the reader clearly not only what happened, but also answer questions about who, what, where, when , why, and how.
Read “The Michelle I Know,” by Alison Lohans.
Respond to the Story
- 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.
Read “Kath and Mouse,” by Janet McNaughton.
Responding to the Story
- What does it mean to play “cat and mouse”? Give an example from a personal experience or from a movie, book, or TV show you have seen.
- In what way does Kath play a “cat and mouse” game with Helen?
- What pun has the author used in the title?
- Explain the significance of the character Christine. Why did the author bring her into the story?
- Revisit the definition of narrative conflict. Discuss how the author used the conflict between characters to create tension. Why is conflict an important element of a story? How does conflict create a tense, fast-paced story? Discuss the types of conflict that exist in other stories(novels) you have read recently.
Create a Sequel
What happens to Kath, Helen, and Kevin after the story ends? Continue the story. Be sure that the details and events you relate are consistent with he original story.
Here are a few suggestions to help you write your own short story sequel:
Developing an Idea
- Think about “Kath and Mouse.” What do you think the characters have learned in the story? Try to predict what they will do next.
- Develop a plot idea. Does Kath continue to bully others around her?
- List the characters that you want to include
- Write an outline that describes the plot, setting, point of view, and main conflict. Will you tell the story from Kath’s or Helen’s point of view, or as an outsider looking in on the situation?
- Using your outline as a guide, write you story. Think about an exciting way to start. Grab your reader’s interest right at the start.
- What will the mood or tone of your story be – funny, serious, or realistic?
- Use dialogue between characters to move the plot along and to reveal character
Read your story, and ask yourself the following questions:
- Does the plot make sense? Is it interesting to the reader?
- Have you remained true to the original story?
- Are the characters’ actions believable?
Read “On the Sidewalk Bleeding” by Evan Hunter
Respond to the following questions on the various aspects of the story:
- Who is the protagonist?
- What is/are the conflict(s)?
- The conflict is developed through the use of names that apply to the boy: Andy and a Royal. Skim the story to note how the names appear in critical places. What do these names represent?
- What effect does Andy’s jacket have on the people who find him in the alley?
- What are the reasons why these people do not help Andy?
- At what point does Andy realize he is dying?
- What does Andy do with the last of his strength? How is this important to the theme and to the outcome of the conflict?
- What is the climax or turning point? Sketch a Plot Diagram. Try this Plot Diagram Generator or find another.
- What is the police officer’s reaction to Andy? How does this contribute to the author’s message?
Assessment Activity: Who Am I?
Consider your own identity: who are you, what makes you unique, how do others see you, what do you want others to know and see about you. Write a post in your blog that represents yourself: embed visual elements and/or other suitable medium.
You may wish to include some of the following elements:
- a personal motto or saying
- a symbol that represents something about you
- your attitudes about yourself
- your strengths and talents
- your hopes and dreams for the future
- what you most like about yourself
- what you are working on improving about yourself (with a positive focus) not what you dislike about yourself
Focus on the positive and create a post that makes you feel good about yourself while showing others all that is good about you. Spend time reviewing the criteria from the assessment rubric.