Unheard Voices ‘Storyboard’ (week 4)

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28 June 2012

Firstly we chose a picture and then we were grouped into 3s. Using our pictures, we created a 3 act play. It was interesting how differently our brains see things. Dependent on our culture background and knowledge each sees different things but this is great. I like this. Anyway, once we’ve decided on one way of telling the story, we rearranged the photos and discussed whether or not this made our story stronger or not and if it changes the piece, how it did so.

This week we had to bring in a story from a newspaper. I didn’t get this right. Oops! We broke off into groups and told these to each other, identified one and then decided a rough plot. We went with a story about baby boxes. (The real story can be found here.) A mother drops off her child and the father tries to retrieve it. We were then each given different parameters in which to tell the story.

The structures included:

  • 3 act
  • 5 act
  • closed space, closed time
  • open space, open time
  • closed space, open time
  • open space, closed time

To explain for those not in the know, ‘open space’ refers to action taking place anywhere, a variety of locations; ‘closed space’ the action takes place in one space only. ‘Open time’ means the action jumps in time where as ‘closed time’ gives a very claustrophobic time frame.

Here’s some examples:

  • closed space, closed time: An Inspector Calls; Huis Clos; Posh. Tends to be great emotional and psychological intensity.
  • open space, open time: Top Girls; Attempts On Her Life; Closer. Detached view to give space to consider themes.
  • closed space, open time: The Hour We Knew Nothing of Each Other; Arcadia; Death of a Salesman. 
  • open space, closed time: this one is difficult to define. So I won’t. I hope you get the picture from the above!
3 acts are very basic whereas 5 acts allows you to get into the nitty, gritty of a story. Closed space, closed time means you have to find a way of keep someone in a room but these challenges are exciting ways of constructing a narrative. Definite food for thought here.
We also started to consider aspects that we like, we didn’t, we’d steal, the structure and strengths and weaknesses of the plays we’ve been reading.
Homework: take a character you have been thinking of and write about them in 10 years time. Then write another scene in 20 years time. Consider how they’ve changed. If the character might be dead then who is left behind? Who still thinks of them?

Author: littlemissmandu

Polymath. Writer. Eurasian Daisy Steiner. Best Cheerleader '93.

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