8:45-9:00: Individual brainstorming. Think generally about storyline, settings, characters and events. Be creative and experiment with any and all ideas.
9:00-10:30: Planning the story. Have each member of the group share their ideas and begin by working on a consensus about the general direction of the plot. You may wish to use some of the following activities to get you started.
ACTIVITY: Where?Have one person in the group sketch out a roughdrawing of each major location in your short story. Youwill probably have 3-4. Consider how each setting maychange throughout the story by having a series ofsketches for different times of the day or parallelimages of the present and past/future. As a group,write up a series of 15-20 buzz words which can beused in the story to describe the location.
An examplea far away planetthe distant futurelarge population, over one billion inhabitantshuman-like creatures live therethe weather is always perfect, controlled by advancedtechnologythere is a democratic system of governmentcitizens are encouraged to form close bonds with oneanotherthere is a strict class systema police force who use ancient magic patrol the streetsthere is an evil crime ring who seek to take over the citybuildings can be described using the following words:sleek, aerodynamic, gigantic, towering
ACTIVITY: Who? After you have decided on the main characters, split the group up into pairs/groups of three. Have one person in each group sketch out a rough drawing of a major character in your short story. Write down some of their character details including:- gender- age- general physical appearance- what they wear- the way they act- their back story (what have they done leading up to the start of the story)- existing relationships with any other characters- short and long term goals and ambitions
An exampleA 20 year old male named Janus. He has beenthe leader of the planet’s magical police forcefor the past 10 years. His body is covered in amagical liquid which allows him to control allthe water on the planet. He is a devoted,headstrong and, at times, arrogant leader whoinsists on doing everything himself, showinglittle trust in his colleagues. He seeks to leadhis planet into a new age of peace andprosperity and is willing to sacrifice his life toachieve this. Because of his commitment to hiswork, he finds little time to socialise and hasno real relationships. During his time as chiefof police, crime has become nearly nonexistent, but lately there have been severalmysterious events which cause him to beconstantly on alert.
An example Write a brief description about how the character would deal with the following situations:- they find a turtle lying on its back in the middle of the dessert- they are trapped inside a dimly lit room- they get to live out their ultimate dreamEXAMPLE:If Janus was to find himself trapped inside a dimly lit room, his firstreaction would be to calmly assess what he already knows about hissituation, but would assume he had somehow been taken hostage. Bymeditating and focussing his energy, he would be able to visualise hismeans of escape.
ACTIVITY: What?Now that you’ve established your setting and characters, it’s time to consider what willhappen in your story. Be sure to firstly identify what genre/genres you will be utilising.Work out a series of major events and categorise them under the following headings:- introduction- establishing conflict- major conflict- resolution- conclusionEach event need only be described using a couple of sentences. Once you havecompleted this, draw a line which represents your plot. It should rise when tension isbuilt and fall at the resolution. Be sure that the plot is well paced, you don’t want animmediate build up of tension which then tapers off slowly towards the end. IT ISIMPORTANT THAT EVERYONE KNOWS THE ENTIRE PLOT, NOT JUST THESECTION THEY ARE WRITING, SO THAT THE STORY MAKES SENSE WHEN ITALL GETS PUT TOGETHER.
An example Introduction:The story begins in the conference room of the policestation, the tallest building in the city. Janus is speaking withhis elite group of police, including his second-in-command,Alexei. He reports a recent mysterious event taking place atthe biomechanical research centre and suggests the teaminvestigate.
10:30-11:30: Writing the ﬁrst draft. Divide the story into five equal sections. Each person then writes their section individually for one hour, getting as much of the first draft completed as possible. Alternatively, you may elect one group member to be the moderator for the group. Their job would be to visit every other member and ensure the story has cohesion.
11:30-12:00: Evaluation. Everyone comes back together and shares what they have written. As a group, you can now make any minor changes to language or writing style and work out a schedule for the rest of the day.
12:00-1:45: Second draft. Individually, each group member continues to write the story. If you can, leave time to proof read.
1:45-2:00: Reading the story. The group come together and read through as much of the story as possible, with a focus on problematic areas.
2:00-2:30: Alterations. After the read through, the group can work collaboratively to make any necessary alterations.
2:30-2:45: Submission.Submit your work on PM Online. Be sure to includelinks to the theme for the day, ideas raised in AnimalFarm and at least one stimulus image.Congratulations, you have just put together a Book in aDay.