|LESSON 2: THE ESSENCE AND ELEMENTS OF A STORY
(Harder) Using a fictional novel or short story that you are very familiar with, or one of your own, write a short essay in which you briefly name or describe the inciting incident, the high point, the resolution, the wrap-up, and the promise. Then describe if the story starts in medias res or not and tell why. Please give the name and author of the novel or story you choose, even if it is your own.
- OR -
(Easier) Make up a story and in a short synopsis, tell what the inciting incident, will be, describe the high point and resolution, and tell how you would wrap-up the story and give the promise of future success or enjoyment.
[For extra credit, do both assignments].
The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak
The Book Thief is a story about a young girl named Leisel in Nazi Germany and her quietly-rebellious family and friends, narrated by Death himself. The inciting incident is probably the death of Leisel's little brother while they were on their way to their foster home.
The high point in the book is actually the lowest, most miserable point in the book, when Munich is bombed and everyone Leisel loves is buried by rubble, but she survives.
The resolution is hard to pinpoint. Perhaps the resolution is when Leisel begins to write her own book (after stealing many), but this comes before the climax. Maybe the resolution is when Leisel is dragged away from the "mountain range of rubble" by the army rescue team.
The wrap-up is when the story shoots seventy or eighty years into the future, and Death reports Leisel's death after a long and fulfilling life.
The promise comes when Death describes taking Leisel to the afterlife (wherever Death takes souls when they die - he never really says, but hints at a Heaven) and all the people she loves are passing by. It's a very vague scene, but it hints at Leisel being able to be with them again.
The story definitely starts in medias res. Part I of the book shares its name with one of the chapters at the end. Death acquires the book Leisel wrote after she lost it in the midst of the bombing, and that's how he learns about Leisel's life. So he mentions how he acquired the book (which happens in the middle of the timeline), then starts telling the story from the beginning (with a lot of short jumps forward and backward in time.)
Vath and Icemingl (working title)
This is a synopsis of the first installment of a trilogy Iím working on.
Iris lives on the island of Drepha, where her parents own a hotel. She stayed on the island when the rest of her family sailed back to the Mainland. The inciting incident is when Iris discovers a hidden tunnel in the reef off the south side of the island. She finds a purgatory-like cave (called Hadopelagia) populated by the ghosts of three shipwrecks and the Latimeria, deity-like creatures that influence every aspect of the sea. She is not dead like the shipwrecked ghosts though; she made it into the cave alive, and thus she should be able to get back out. But when she tries, she realizes that she is trapped. The high point of the story will be when Iris escapes from the cave. The resolution comes when she gets a message to her friend Varick on the island instructing him to free the two Latimeria she had accidentally captured, and after he frees them, she is able to leave the island because the Latimeria are no longer angry with her. This is also after Iris learns from one of the Latimeria that her parents never made it back to the Mainland and were now somewhere in the labyrinthine cave. A Latimerius named Glyphis explains that Irisís parents are dead and thus trapped in the cave forever, and the only way that Iris can bargain their release is to retrieve an item that the Latimeria had been hiding on Drepha but no longer felt it was safe there because of all the Mainlanders vacationing there. The wrap-up is when Iris reunites with Varick on the island and explains all that she has learned. The promise is that Iris and Varick are going to go after the item Glyphis mentioned and then find Irisís parents.