Introduction: writing is different from living. In real life, we can’t arrange reality and expect to get away with it; as writers, we have more freedom. When we write, we do not do it the same way that we live, one moment at a time-we can jump right into the time that interests us the most. Writers can spend one sentence to cover years, such as “After ten years, he came back to England.” Conversely, writers can also spend pages covering one important moment.
It is a good idea to practice writing in slow motion by exploding a moment. In movies, slow motion is frequently used to slow down a moment. Think of some examples from movies you have seen.
The exploded moment is slowed because it’s significant. These details are first sketched out on a storyboard, in which an artist draws pictures of each shot and camera angle before the movie is filmed.
For writers, each picture is like a detail. However, writers have been even better cameras than filmmakers-we can record sensory impressions, thoughts, feelings, and more.
Think of a time that lasted for only a few moments but was semi important/significant to you. It can be sad (like waking up to find your fish dead) or scary (like a bike accident) or happy (like walking downstairs on Christmas morning) or confusing (like the first time your sister was nice to you) For two minutes, brainstorm a list of details you remember-the list may include descriptive (sensory details) or narrative (chronological details).
For fifteen minutes, free write on a separate sheet of paper about that one moment that lasted only a few seconds. Every detail you can remember will make that moment come alive and last longer. If you get stuck, ask yourself “What was I thinking?” or “What color was it?” …ask yourself questions that will help you remember what things looked, smelled, tasted, felt or sounded like at that moment. Ask yourself questions that help you remember your emotional and physical responses to the moment. As you write, remember: you are only writing about a single moment that lasted only a few seconds.
Swap papers with another person and swap ideas that could make the story even better. Look for sentences and descriptions that could be exploded even more. Every story can be made to be better—so help that person.
Take your story home and type out your final draft. I’m looking for at least two pages-double spaced. This assignment is worth 30 points in the 80% bracket. Due on Feb. 22 (Wed).