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Writing a story, no matter a 500-word short story or a 150,000-word novel saga, they both have: A beginning (introduction), a middle (body), and an ending (conclusion).
Though it may sound simple I have heard uncountable people stating complications like, "My beginning is great but now I'm running out of ideas," or "I've done everything right but I don't know how to end it."
The main reason is because the authors didn't have a broad enough idea implanted into their minds to guide them through the plot. Because this section of the exam will be based on Belonging, this procedure for a short story idea will follow the concept of Belonging and Not Belonging. You should only choose one - either Belonging or Not Belonging.
1. Brainstorm words that relates to Belonging or Not Belonging. Here are some examples:
Belonging - Attachment, relationship, affinity, membership, community, acceptance, fellowship, rapport, affiliation, kinship, family, understanding, loyalty...
Not Belonging - Alienation, isolation, disconnected outcast, divorce, distant, indifference, disaffection, loneliness, exclusion, rejection, exile, insularity, marginality...
2. With those words, define Belonging or Not Belonging. Here are some examples:
Attachment - To be part of an entity or entities, as to belong.
Alienation - Considered as an outsider; a person that is not regarded as a local, as to not belonging.
3. Using those definitions you interpreted, create a complication. It doesn't have to be bizarrely unique but it does have to be related to Belonging or Not Belonging. Try to link it with aspects like: personal, gender, group, relationship, culture, place, absence, community, identity, etc. Here are some examples:
Attachment - The protagonist, because has too much to do, is unable to feel that he belongs to a community or sport club because he is hardly ever present to be seen as attached.
Alienation - The protagonist tries very hard to be part of a community or sport club, but because he is not a local, he is regarded as an alien. Therefore, he cannot belong there.
4. Decide how the complications will be solved. Here are some examples:
Attachment - The protagonist is unable to belong to the sport club because he is not seen as an attachment. He decides to reschedule his timetable in order to be present, and therefore, be seen as belonged.
Alienation - The protagonists is unable to join a sport club because he is not a local. He argues with his parents to move schools and houses, and therefore, is able to belong because he is no longer an alien.
Note: The complication and plot does not have to be complicated or "deep". A simple story with an easy-to-understand concept is all you need to do. Of course, if your story is more complicated with twists and turns, you will be marked higher.
5. Give life to your characters and decide appropriate settings. Name your characters and places (school, suburb, etc.) with names that relates to the moral of the story that will have an impact to Belonging or Not Belonging. Here are some examples:
School: Goodfield Community High School
Club: Goodfield's Local sport Club
Name: Angelah Jax (to symbolize a contrast between the more commonly written spellings of Angela Jack)
6. Now that you have the entire storyline and plot made up, add extra details, cultures and speeches to enhance the story. You may include specific words or phrases that characters say to show they are part of a group (slangs, mottos, etc.). You may include some special traits to the protagonists to make them appear real.
7. If you are daring enough, add special twists and unpredictable events to the story. For example, make something that was unimportant at the beginning of the story to be something very significant at the ending, etc.
Are you feeling confident now? It is now your turn to develop your idea!
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