Monday, June 8, 2009

Stranger than Fiction class notes

Stranger Than Fiction – How to Find Inspiration From True Stories

Presented by Allison Randall March 2009 at UVU

Notes taken by Kristin Hayes


Why use real life stories?

  • We’re all on this journey together
  • They’re more inspirational and emotionally engaging
  • Unexpected surprises

Where do you find these stories?

  • Family history
  • Observe your own children
  • People you work with
  • Make sure you get permission before you write it

Now that you have a story:

  • Write it down exactly as it happened (interview) or have the person who experienced the story write it down as they remember it
  • Consider ways for publication (ie. PB, novel, magazine articles etc…)
  • Is the story publishable as it is? Probably not. Use this formula to make the story more interesting and publishable

P+SX(2)C /A=R

P is protagonist

S is setting (place and time)

C is conflict

A is action ( protagonist tries to solve problem [conflict] try fail, try fail, try fail, succeed)

R is resolution

Finally: Make the unbelievable believable and bring it full circle.

A great example of bringing the story full circle is Allison’s PB, The Wheat Doll. A pioneer child loses her doll which was stuffed with wheat. The wheat doll, lost in a field eventually sprouts and grows more wheat. At the end of the story the girl finds remnants of the doll and the grown wheat which she harvests to make herself a new wheat doll.

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