Today's sixth-form Creative Writing Elective covers story structure and the narrative arc.
There are many different variations on the narrative arc, but I'm keeping it simple.
Something that I was clear to stress to students when I pitched my class to them was that I am not an English teacher.
My knowledge of the 'classics' is poor, so these classes are not English Literature lessons. For that reason, I use popular examples that I can be pretty confident that most students will be familiar with.
Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope.
It's a reasonable bet that most of them have seen the film or at least know the story.
In this lesson I use Star Wars as an example of a narrative arc. We identify the four parts of the narrative arc within the story.
Students then take a story with which they are familiar and try to identify the different components
Of course any good story has multiple narrative arcs; chapters, characters and sub-plots all have their own arc and so today's second activity is to take a character that they are familiar with and apply the narrative arc to their journey.
The final activity in today's lesson is a free-write.
Students are asked to choose two random pieces of paper from two different containers. One is a character, the other an object.
They are then given a few minutes to write a short story linking the two items.
All of the resources that I have created fro today's lesson can be downloaded and used freely by any body wanting to try the exercise for themselves or to run a class. All I ask is that you keep my website address and twitter on them.
Any feedback would be gratefully received.
PS Full disclosure - the title that my students know me by is Dr Gitsham which is on the powerpoint. This refers to my science Ph.D - I am not an English language teacher and have no formal training beyond the classes that I have attended for pleasure.
As always, I am indebted to my creative writing tutor Danielle Jawando.
Powerpoint with lesson activities.
Accompanying Spreadsheet with Characters and Objects for Activity Three
(c) Paul Gitsham 2013
Free for non-commercial use
Welcome to my blog! Here I will share news about my upcoming novels, post articles about writing and just generally use this as my own personal sounding board for whatever takes my fancy.