Sunday, November 23, 2008

Creative Writing: Developing an Event

An event in a story refers to a significant incident that involves characters, setting, and usually tension or a turning point. Events are also called scenes or incidents. Events are important because they allow the reader to visualize what is happening to your characters.

Activity: (This should take about 10 minutes to complete)
Write an event involving a character you have written about or a character that is in your mind that you would like to develop further.

Modelled response
The mornings are flippant, so my mother told me. The way I hung my head upside down over the edge of the bed and dangled my arms from side to side when I was suppose to be getting dressed for the day ahead. How my mother washed in the bucket, scrubbing vigorously the ginger soap up her arms, under her arm pits. The water splashing out suspended in the air before zooming into the rough mat that signified the washroom. Her skin shiny and sore, like a burn after months of healing. How my brother flew his imaginary airplane along the sparse furniture that occupied the single room in our cottage, leaping and bounding through the space, knocking the richotty chair that he caught with his spare hand just before it hit the ground. He held the airplane in one hand and chair in the other, still in anticipation.

‘Billy,’ my mother shouted. ‘How many times do I have to tell you?’

She rose from her squatting position and put her wet hands on her hips, the liquid dripped down her bare legs. She stood there till my brother delicately returned the chair upright, patting it a little, smiling nervously at the wall, avoiding my mother’s eyes.

‘Go and get dressed, both of you.’ Her hands flung the air about as she sighed.

My favourite dress was neatly laid out on the crocheted rug of red my grandmother hand made when I was born. When I wore it I rubbed the lace at the trim so purposefully, that holes like moth bites had grown over the years. Bits of lace hung down to the ground, I refusing to tear them off even though I tripped often. My brother was already dressed. Always before me. He placed his rucksack on his back and moved toward the front door open to the wilderness.

My mother wrapped a shawl around her body and moved about the cottage, tidying up evidence of breakfast. ‘Late for work again,’ she said. ‘To the door, Rose.’

My mother helped me put the rucksack on my back and tapped me on the bottom toward the door. I joined my brother, facing my mother who leaned down in front of us. She cupped our chins with the palms of her hands and squeezed tenderly.

‘To your father's now,’ she said. I followed her gaze to my brother’s face as she intensified her hold on his chin. ‘No going off the path, do you hear?’

My brother’s head bobbed up and down in her palm. My mother satisfied stood up as we turned to the path leading from the door to the edge of the forest. I heard her good bye as we ran down the path with our bags jiggling on our backs.

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