Thursday, June 20, 2013

Situation

           Situation. The first point of SCOOP IT UP. Frank Ball called situation, "The problem that gives the story purpose at the beginning."
            This isn't just setting: the place, time, weather, and all those other details that bore the reader. Not that these things aren't necessary. The reader needs some kind of clarity as to the setting. But it doesn't need to drag, and it can be shown.
           But situation is exactly that. The situation that the beginning of the story finds the character in.
           The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Katniss lives in District 12. She hunts to keep her family alive and she would do anything to protect her little sister. But what if her name is drawn to participate in the Hunger Games? Certainly that would end in a death of terror. Where would that leave her family? This is situation of The Hunger Games.
           Jeff Gerke, author of Plot versus Character, said (I'm paraphrasing because I can't quite remember), "You have to establish normal before you violate normal." You have to show what the character's normal life is like before he goes on his new adventure so the reader knows what the character has to loose (aka the plight, we'll get to that later). Then you move on to the inciting incident. The event that takes the character out of his normal life. In The Hunger Games, Katniss wasn't drawn. But her sister was.
           Besides "establishing normal," the situation really just introduces the reader to the character, objective, and obstacle. The next few points of SCOOP IT UP.
           I apologize for having been gone for so long. My computer has not been behaving. Also do you like the Times New Roman font? Is it easier to read?

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