Ewrt 30 class 12

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Ewrt 30 class 12

  1. 1. EWRT 30 Class 12
  2. 2. AGENDA Project #2 Due Terms Test #2 Discussion: “The Most Dangerous Game” Lecture: Suspense Guided Writing: Fiction
  3. 3. Terms Test #2: 20 minutes
  4. 4. Discussion Subject Get in new groups to discuss “The Most Dangerous Game”
  5. 5. Basic Elements of a Story 1. PLOT - the story line; a unified, progressive pattern of action or events in a story 2. POINT OF VIEW (POV) - the position from which the story is told 3. CHARACTER - Types: person portraying himself or another 1. Characterization: Methods 4. SETTING - the time and place of the action in a story 5. TONE - the attitude of the author toward his subject or toward the reader 6. MOOD - the feeling or state of mind that predominates in a story creating a certain atmosphere
  6. 6. Lecture Subject Suspense
  7. 7. Suspense  Suspense is created by an uncertainty about what happens next in your story. So–what does happen next? The unexpected, of course. But let’s think back to the basic plot outline to understand how to create uncertainty.  The plot of a story is driven by conflict; without a conflict creating tension, you simply don’t have a story. Suspense is the reader’s worry about what will happen because of that conflict.
  8. 8. How can you increase the reader’s worry?
  9. 9. Begin at the right place  Looking over the broad picture of your story, the need for escalation requires that you start at a place of strong conflict, but not so strong that the situation can’t get worse. You must find a strong enough place to create suspense; yet, that exact situation and time in the story must allow for a progression of scenes in which things get worse. In other words, make sure the sequence of scenes makes sense. What is the initial conflict in “The Most Dangerous Game?
  10. 10. Hunting We should have some good hunting up the Amazon. Great sport, hunting." "The best sport in the world," agreed Rainsford. "For the hunter," amended Whitney. "Not for the jaguar." "Don't talk rot, Whitney," said Rainsford. "You're a big-game hunter, not a philosopher. Who cares how a jaguar feels?" "Perhaps the jaguar does," observed Whitney. "Bah! They've no understanding." "Even so, I rather think they understand one thing--fear. The fear of pain and the fear of death." "Nonsense," laughed Rainsford. "This hot weather is making you soft, Whitney. Be a realist. The world is made up of two classes--the hunters and the huntees. Luckily, you and I are hunters.
  11. 11. Add uncertainty As you work with the plot and conflicts, search for ways to bring in or to imply uncertainly. Which are scenes of uncertainty in the story?
  12. 12. Uncertainty about the Island "The place has a reputation--a bad one." "Cannibals?" suggested Rainsford. "Hardly. Even cannibals wouldn't live in such a God-forsaken place. But it's gotten into sailor lore, somehow. Didn't you notice that the crew's nerves seemed a bit jumpy today? [. . .] All I could get out of him was `This place has an evil name among seafaring men, sir.’
  13. 13. Let readers root for a character or characters.  Give readers a person to root for. If we care for the characters, we worry more. Good characterization gives us cause to root for a character and his/her eventual success over the conflict. If we know that a woman has been abused, but come out of it and successfully raised two lovely children, then we worry more when she starts dating a man we suspect of being an alcoholic.
  14. 14. Who do we root for in “The Most Dangerous Game”? Is he round or flat? Dynamic or static? How is he characterized? What drives readers to root for him?
  15. 15. Give the readers a great villain  Make villains credible, logical, and believable, but not likeable. Readers need to understand why the antagonist is doing what he does, and why he believes his actions are justified and rational. How is Zaroff drawn as a believable character?
  16. 16. "Life is for the strong, to be lived by the strong, and, if needs be, taken by the strong. The weak of the world were put here to give the strong pleasure. I am strong. Why should I not use my gift? If I wish to hunt, why should I not? I hunt the scum of the earth: sailors from tramp ships-lassars, blacks, Chinese, whites, mongrels-a thoroughbred horse or hound is worth more than a score of them."
  17. 17. Evoke strong emotions through a critical conflict  Make sure the conflict evokes strong emotions. This usually means a conflict that matters in some important way. The possibility of walking through a thicket with thorns is trivial in comparison to a life and death situation. On that continuum of what is at risk, push more towards the “life and death” end to increase suspense. What is the next conflict in “The Most Dangerous Game”? Consider Rainsford and Zaroff’s conversation over dinner.
  18. 18. "But you can't mean--" gasped Rainsford. "And why not?” "I can't believe you are serious, General Zaroff. This is a grisly joke.” "Why should I not be serious? I am speaking of hunting.” "Hunting? Great Guns, General Zaroff, what you speak of is murder."
  19. 19. The conflict must change  In some way, as the story progresses, the character’s situation(s) must change, usually by building on the initial conflict. You must ask how things can get worse. Would it be worse at a different time? A different place? With different characters? Or try it from a different stance: what is the worse thing your character would ever have to face? That is the ending scene and how can you back up from there and soften the conflict?
  20. 20. The conflict escalates again  Rainsford is in fact confronted with the original conflict that his friend poses: the unfairness to the animal. Next he learns that Zaroff is hunting men on his island. Finally, he learns that he will be hunted.  "My dear fellow," said the general, "have I not told you I always mean what I say about hunting? This is really an inspiration. I drink to a foeman worthy of my steel--at last." The general raised his glass, but Rainsford sat staring at him.
  21. 21. Details.  To evoke strong emotions, you must include great details. This means you must think about what the setting is like in terms of sounds, sights, smells, tastes, and tactile possibilities. Use specific sensory details to evoke the situation and give the reader a blow by blow of the action of the story.
  22. 22. "I'll give him a trail to follow," muttered Rainsford, and he struck off from the rude path he had been following into the trackless wilderness. He executed a series of intricate loops; he doubled on his trail again and again, recalling all the lore of the fox hunt, and all the dodges of the fox. Night found him leg-weary, with hands and face lashed by the branches, on a thickly wooded ridge. An apprehensive night crawled slowly by like a wounded snake and sleep did not visit Rainsford, although the silence of a dead world was on the jungle. Toward morning when a dingy gray was varnishing the sky, the cry of some startled bird focused Rainsford's attention in that direction. Something was coming through the bush, coming slowly, carefully, coming by the same winding way Rainsford had come. He flattened himself down on the limb and, through a screen of leaves almost as thick as tapestry, he watched. . . . That which was approaching was a man.
  23. 23. Feel the Consequences. Once you place the reader in the situation, then evoke even stronger emotions by making sure the reader understands the consequences of failure. This is the, “So What?” question. If X fails to do Y– so what? Who cares? You must provide enough details on the consequences or hint at it broadly enough for the reader to guess the consequences. What are the consequences?
  24. 24. "You'll find this game worth playing," the general said enthusiastically." Your brain against mine. Your woodcraft against mine. Your strength and stamina against mine. Outdoor chess! And the stake is not without value, eh?" "And if I win--" began Rainsford huskily. "I'll cheerfully acknowledge myself defeat if I do not find you by midnight of the third day," said General Zaroff. "My sloop will place you on the mainland near a town.”
  25. 25. Scene cuts.  Try using scene cuts to leave X hanging while you present a scene with Y that leaves Y hanging; then come back to X, finish the first scene and transition immediately into the second scene which–of course–leaves X hanging again. Repeat as needed. Where is the reader left hanging?
  26. 26. "Nerve, nerve, nerve!" he panted, as he dashed along. A blue gap showed between the trees dead ahead. Ever nearer drew the hounds. Rainsford forced himself on toward that gap. He reached it. It was the shore of the sea. Across a cove he could see the gloomy gray stone of the chateau. Twenty feet below him the sea rumbled and hissed. Rainsford hesitated. He heard the hounds. Then he leaped far out into the sea. . . . When the general and his pack reached the place by the sea, the Cossack stopped. For some minutes he stood regarding the blue-green expanse of water. He shrugged his shoulders. Then be sat down, took a drink of brandy from a silver flask, lit a cigarette, and hummed a bit from Madame Butterfly.
  27. 27. Pacing  Much of building suspense is an issue of pacing, which is merely taking the long picture of your story and thinking about how scenes blend with each other. For example, you might follow two fast-paced action scenes with a scene of simple action but more complex character interaction.  You can control pacing with sentence structure. Long, flowing sentences can slow down the action. Short sentences build tension by propelling the reader forward.
  28. 28. Rainsford held his breath. The general's eyes had left the ground and were traveling inch by inch up the tree. Rainsford froze there, every muscle tensed for a spring. But the sharp eyes of the hunter stopped before they reached the limb where Rainsford lay; a smile spread over his brown face. Very deliberately he blew a smoke ring into the air; then he turned his back on the tree and walked carelessly away, back along the trail he had come.
  29. 29. When the general, nursing his bruised shoulder, had gone, Rainsford took up his flight again. It was flight now, a desperate, hopeless flight, that carried him on for some hours. Dusk came, then darkness, and still he pressed on. The ground grew softer under his moccasins; the vegetation grew ranker, denser; insects bit him savagely. Then, as he stepped forward, his foot sank into the ooze. He tried to wrench it back, but the muck sucked viciously at his foot as if it were a giant leech. With a violent effort, he tore his feet loose. He knew where he was now. Death Swamp and its quicksand.
  30. 30. Dialogue and internal monologues can also affect pacing by changing the rhythm . Short interchanges of dialogue between characters increase the reading speed. Long speeches by a certain character will slow it down. If you feel like the story needs to pick up the pace, look for areas with too much dialogue, internal monologue, or exposition. Or vice versa, not enough.
  31. 31. "Rainsford!" screamed the general. "How in God's name did you get here?” "Swam," said Rainsford. "I found it quicker than walking through the jungle.” The general sucked in his breath and smiled. "I congratulate you," he said. "You have won the game.” Rainsford did not smile. "I am still a beast at bay," he said, in a low, hoarse voice. "Get ready, General Zaroff.” The general made one of his deepest bows. "I see," he said. "Splendid! One of us is to furnish a repast for the hounds. The other will sleep in this very excellent bed. On guard, Rainsford." . . .
  32. 32. Use Dread and Anticipation Keep in mind the difference in dread and anticipation. Dread: bad things have happened and even worse things are possible. Anticipation: something bad could happen unless. . . Dread builds on past conflict, while anticipation builds on hope of avoiding conflict. Try to use both as you build the suspense of your story.
  33. 33. One way to convey your character’s dread or anxiety is to directly tell the reader: He felt scared She was afraid I grew more frightened by the second. He experienced the really horrible feeling of absolute fear, an emotion that was indescribably debilitating. These are ok; they tell the reader how your character is feeling, but they don’t really invoke any emotion from the reader. To make a scene more suspenseful, show the character's fears instead of just telling them; this permits the reader to feel the fear rather than just think about it.
  34. 34. The showing of behavior or feelings is no more complicated than telling about it. Consider, for example, your visceral reactions to fear. Sharing those corporeal responses will heighten your readers’ involvement in your story.  A person may feel hot or cold, shiver or sweat. Palms get damp, the mouth dry, the throat blocked.  People may experience an accelerated, pounding heartbeat, feeling it in unusual places: in their ears, in their throat, or even in their fingers.  Breathing changes. It can become faster and shallower, though for some people it may deepen and slow.  The skin can react in multiple ways: goose bumps may occur or the hairs on the arms may stand up.  The stomach may tighten, clench, churn, or feel like it is filled with ice.  Pain drifts through the body; for example, the fillings of some people’s teeth hurt.  Fear causes clenching of the jaw and hands, involuntary noises, uncontrollable shaking.
  35. 35. “He struggled up to the surface and tried to cry out, but the wash from the speeding yacht slapped him in the face and the salt water in his open mouth made him gag and strangle.” For a seemingly endless time he fought the sea. He began to count his strokes; he could do possibly a hundred more and then-“The general's left eyelid fluttered down in a wink.” “Rainsford held his breath.” “Rainsford froze there, every muscle tensed for a spring.” “A smile spread over [Zaroff’s] brown face.” “The pent-up air burst hotly from Rainsford's lungs. His first thought made him feel sick and numb.”
  36. 36. Guided Writing Add suspense to your story by using the strategies we just learned
  37. 37. 1. While on vacation and shopping in a department store, a middle-aged man comes face to face with the guy who kidnapped his son ten years earlier. 1. At a Chinese restaurant, your character opens his fortune cookie and reads the following message: "Your life is in danger. Say nothing to anyone. You must leave the city immediately and never return. Repeat: say nothing.” 2. Your character has to tell his parents that he's getting a divorce. He knows his parents will take his wife's side, and he is right... 3. Your character suspects her husband is having an affair and decides to spy on him. What she discovers is not what she was expecting... 4. ·A man elbows your character in a crowd. After he is gone, she discovers her cell phone is too. She calls her own number, and the man answers. She explains that the cell phone has personal information on it and asks the man to send it back to her. He hangs up. Instead of going to the police, your character decides to take matters into her own hands...
  38. 38. How to Create Suspense 1. Begin at the right place: the need for escalation requires that you start at a place of strong conflict. 2. Add uncertainty 3. Let readers root for a character or characters 4. Give the readers a great villain 5. Evoke strong emotions through a critical conflict. 6. Change the conflict. 7. Include great details. 8. Make sure readers feel the consequences. 9. Use dramatic scene cuts 10.Use pacing to control the intensity of the story. 11.Use dread: bad things have happened and even worse things are possible. 12. Use anticipation: something bad could happen unless. . .
  39. 39. Homework  Post #12: Post a long paragraph or two that demonstrate your efforts at creating suspense.  Reading: “Labels.” This is the first three pages of a short story. Please note the style as you read.

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