Sunday, June 28, 2009

Working Out The Story Details

“How did it come to this?” -- unknown
I read this somewhere recently and created a new sticky for my monitor. Unfortunately, I didn’t include the source or author’s name. What struck me was how simple, but powerful this statement was. How did it come to this? How did the character(s) reach this point? Was it planned? Who else was involved? Then I wondered if it referred to the beginning or the end (as the original author proposed) of a short story -- or chapter or scene. I decided the answer was it could be either. I could determine an ending for a scene and work my way backwards to the beginning; or I could start with a situation, decide how the characters arrived where they were, and write the scene from that point on exposing the backstory as I went along.

Here's the sentence I wrote after reading today’s prompt.
Two pairs of eyebrows jerked skyward when the gun went off.
Is this the beginning or end of a story/scene? Just for fun, I’m going to post the adjacent paragraph I wrote for the story I started in the Comments section. Without looking, write your own paragraph either as the opening or closing of a scene or chapter (include the prompt as a one sentence paragraph), a paragraph that in some way partially answers the question “How did it come to this?” and post it. The writing doesn't have to be great. No grades will be given. :) I'd simply like to see what kinds of ideas everyone comes up with. I look forward to reading your posts.

1 comment:

Jim Harrington said...

Two pairs of eyebrows jerked skyward when the gun went off.

"Shit," Harry said. "I only meant to scare you." He lowered Donnie to the stained mattress. "Why'd you have to go grab for the gun?"