Planning my Short Discovery

Week 3.5

What did I do?

Read from workbook*

  • 2. Selecting Ideas
  • 3. Making the Protagonist

Completed activities from workbook*

Story strength

Completing the exercises in the workbook has given me insight to where I will need to improve in my story. For instance, under ‘concept’, stories that use stimuli literally are considered weak and are on the same level as being cliched. As my selected stimulus is about seeing things with “new eyes” my idea of an effective second personality does seem a little literal. I will need to sophisticate its establishment so that the reader does not come to the conclusion of a second pair of personality “eyes”. The RUBRIC includes discovery leading to new values and offering new understandings which is consistent with the stimulus. I will therefore, be representing these aspects of discovery in my story. As the character re-evaluates his life, his past and the world and people around him, the philosophy of seeing things with new eyes is effectively covered.

In terms of structure, my story is (or will be) inspired by the writing of Nam Le in ‘The Boat‘(2008). His characters’ progress through a short span of time while reliving the memories of their past – the events that have led them to where they are at the time of the story. I am unclear as the specific structure (as in how long sections are going to be) however, I am confident that my story will commence in a short span of time, featuring ‘flashbacks’ of the main characters recent significant experiences and lack thereof. These flashbacks will be brief and suggestive and will not overtake the storyline of the present circumstance.

Characterisation

I have decided (loosely) on my main character and those connected to him. He is a ‘he’ and he is in his late twenties. He is blonde with blue eyes – both are darkened from grief and neglect. He was freckled and sunburnt frequently, but those features are fading also as he does not venture outside often. He shuffles his feet when he walks and inspects everything that he notices as though he has not seen it before. He does everything with solemn determinedness and focus, even [especially] menial tasks. His sister, his twin, is of similar colouring, she compares her own features to his as proof of his deterioration (should her point of view be written). She attempts to support him, yet struggles with his current disposition.

Jackson suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder after the loss of his fiance to lung cancer (cause of sister’s blaming her). He represses the memories of her illness and death, progressing into the disorder months after the funeral. His sister visits constantly and he proves less and less responsive each time, she does not say anything to him about the matter, in the hopes that he will get better through overcoming the grief that plagues him rather than addressing another issue within himself. He begins to realises the small changes and the more significant ones. He is shown not recognising himself in the mirror of his bathroom. Here he notes the changes in his appearance. When he ventures through his apartment, he will point out anything that is significant (which would not be significant to another person) as they are the objects that he has lost memory of (gaps in memory). He will make slight references to the topics or objects that remind him of his late partner, essentially ‘robotically’ glossing over them, some of these reminders will cause his thought process to halt completely and moved on to another subject.

I have written a ‘portrait’ of the main character from his sister’s point of view as they meet in the story. Should I write from her point of view, this is likely to be included. I have compiled this with my other scribbles that I am calling ‘plans’.

*Workbook:     McHugh A. (2015). HSC English Discovery Creative Task Workbook. Macmillan Education Australia Pty. Ltd. South Yarra, Victoria

Image: JK Rowling’s Chapter Spreadsheet http://mentalfloss.com/article/26346/jk-rowlings-plot-spreadsheet

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