The Sunday News
TO mark the beginning of the year, some recap on the main points on what a story is covered before is essential.
Learners need to understand the term “story” noting that it occurs in many contexts. There are many different ways of presenting a story.
Experts teach us that, “we often engage in narrative without being aware of it, not recognising that story exists in many contexts and is expressed in different ways.
“Learners may see stories as external to themselves. While they may be able to recognise the presence of story in a film, they are often unaware of its immediacy in their daily lives.
For example, when they talk to friends or family about the day’s happenings, they are narrators telling stories. In addition.
If they need to explain a series of events to a teacher or parent (such as describing an incident in school), they often sequence these events carefully and in great detail”.
Previously we defined a story in the following three points: A story is something that always entertains. A story is always fiction.
A story can be gossip. A story can be told in a newspaper report. A story is something that we learn from.
A story is always told in words. We can also include that a story can be made up or true. For the benefit of those who might have missed the initial definition of stories we go back and define some of them.
Remember we talked about science fiction. This is a story about life in the future. It may involve outer space. Tragedy is a story in which the outcome is sad.
Comedy is a story in which the characters and the events make the reader laugh. Romance is a story about love, usually between two main characters which has a happy ending.
A detective story is a story in which a mystery about a crime is usually solved.
A story about characters and events set in the past is historical. Fantasy is a story that includes magic and the supernatural.
It is often set in unknown past. While it is straightforward for learners to sequence events, writing a story is more challenging not least because a story has a narrative structure.
The simplest example is: beginning, middle and ending.
This is a useful guide since it allows learners to group events appropriately in the story line.
This also gives the story rhythm and with the use of paragraphs discourages the monotonous and then . . . and then . . . to which many learners may resort. For learners with greater experience or skills, the pattern beginning problem, middle, ending (or introduction, complication, climax and resolution) may be used.
Use the following story structures to plan your story structures: Beginning, Middle, Ending or Beginning (Introduction), Problem (Complication), High point (Climax) and Ending (Resolution). You should have characters in your story.
There should not be too many characters in your story so as to confuse the reader. However, bear in mind that your story should have a central idea which is carried right through the story.
Other suggested characteristics of short stories is that in most cases should have a dramatic turn of events. The ending of your story should not just be obvious to the reader.
There should be some dramatic turn of events to the amusement of the reader. Your main character should live. This means that though your character is imaginary but given the chance that character could live. Give them characteristics of living individuals.
Avoid presenting lifeless characters in your story. Characters can be classified as heroes, heroines, villains; the anti-hero.
In presenting these in their stories learners should remember that there was often a clear distinction between the hero and the villain.
Even if the hero faced death, it was heroic and good was expected to overcome evil. This is clearly demonstrated in some dramatic texts. This is mainly an underlining theme in most of Shakespeare’s tragedies.
We are reminded that this is still the case in some stories particularly fantasy, although the hero (or heroine) might be of humble origin.
You can only succeed in coming up with reasonable characters by discussing characters you read about from certain texts or watch in films.
Look at them from the following perspectives. Who are the heroes and heroines and who are the villains? Who are the real-life figures?
Discuss each character talking about: How you know about them and why we think of them as heroes, heroines or villains.
As you read to understand the creation of characters in stories you can have a character file where you record information about the fictional hero, heroine or villain.
In what does the character appear? (For example, books, films). Other information for example, adult/child/fantasy figure).
What are the character’s main features and personality traits? What is the character’s main aim in the story?
Why do you think the character has become or has lasted? Understanding of these aspects might help the learn come up with a live story together with the main message of the story running throughout the story.
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