Saturday, 27 October 2007

Clever-clogs technique (and optional homework): Aftermath

You've probably been revising the use of suspense and action at What? You haven't? Go to and I'll see you when you're ready!

Okay! You now know that when we write a short story in an 11+ exam that it normally is structured something like this:

Exciting opening
Set the scene
Describe one of the characters
More feelings and speech as you write the middle of the story

One clever technique is to build suspense, but then cut to what happened a few minutes later, missing out the action. Study this example:

I saw the Gorilla was smiling. I knew him well enough to know that smile: a fuereal omen, as bloodthirsty as a vampire once again preparing for the kill, but without passion and without hunger, simply doing his job. My head filled with silent panic. Think! I told myself. Think!

Suddenly, the Gorilla leapt for my brother...


"He never stood a chance."

Bones. My brothers bones were lying all over the floor. The doctor's eyes, gleaming in the torchlight, were observing me with a kind of quizzical intensity, as if he were trying to read inside me. I do not know how, but I had survived.

Do you see how this trick is a little like a non-linear story? You miss the action, and 'fast forward' a few minutes to after the action. For a car chase, you might describe being chased, and then cut to a description of a mangled wreck, cutting out the description of the crash.

OPTIONAL HOMEWORK TASK: Plan and write a story based on the fantastic 'gorilla mask' bank raid picture above. Build suspense, but then cut to the aftermath, missing out the action scene.

Don't forget to listen to the latest comprehension podcast, and check out the Falcons School wikipedia page!

And finally, a special message from the Grumpy Examiner:

"I do hope you haven't left your holiday homework to the last minute, or else!"

1 comment:

compreh whiz KID said...

Hi Mr H,
If only I didn't have so much Latymer homework, I would have a go at this cool homework as well. Too bad!
006 Naomi