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How to Deconstruct Your Fiction Story – Tearing It All Down

Friday, September 8th, 2017

Tools needed: What three items when put together forced the story to be written? For example, a gun, a whiskey bottle and a car. How about an antique brooch, a handwritten letter, and a pair of shoes? Why was something at some place.

The brooch was found on shreds of fabric on a skeleton when someone dug out dirt for a foundation on a house.

Stop and go search on archeological digs. Why was a dig on a mastodon stopped when something was found?

A friend of mine went to buy a 1969 El Camino many years ago. After he had sat in it for a minute, he got out and shivered. On the way home, without the car, he told me that someone had died in that car. He was not going to drive with another person in the car. Now it becomes a murder/homicide mystery as to why someone died in that car.

Preparation: Rough outline either on the PC or drawn by hand. Make a handwritten outline down the page with Roman numerals 1 through 12. Be sure to put the A through E below each numeral. That is your bare frame outline. The research done here will make the story move realistically and accurate. This is the 30,000 feet view.

1. Come up with a scenario whereby two or three central characters are engaged in a life or death struggle. They are trying to overcome a huge problem.

2. Someone dies trying to solve the problem.

3. Secret about character 1 is revealed. Causes conflict.

4. Secret about character 2 is revealed. Causes conflict.

5. Secret about character 3 is revealed. Causes conflict.

6. Secret about character 4 is revealed. Causes conflict. Someone dies here.

7. Secret about character 5 is revealed. Causes conflict.

8. Other minor character interferes in the solution.

9. The girl or love interest is put in danger, such as kidnapped.

10. The hero fails to rescue the girl and feels that all is lost.

11. Deepest despair, darkest moment for hero. Nobody can help. The last set of bad things happen to the good guy.

12. Hero discovers complex, hidden solution. Good guy kills/harms/captures the bad guy. Good guy gets girl. Happily, ever after.

Who and Where: Draw me a picture with images of the characters and locations.

Character 1 – male/female, location 1. Print out a page with the character’s name, any information about them that you know now, and their location right now. Be sure to make a “History” heading down the middle of the page and put in 5 sentences about the secret in their past.

Character 2 – male/female, location 1. Same thing. Insert their picture onto the page and list out the sentences about them. Be sure to make a “History” heading down the middle of the page and put in 5 sentences about the secret in their past.

Frame Up The Incidents: This is the 5-scene layout of major incidents. The entire story is built around these. Pick out five characters and give each of them some dastardly wicked event in their past. Characters 1 and 2 recognize each other but don’t acknowledge each other. Characters 3 and 4 are friends because they committed an unknown crime together.

Write the Character Sheet: Fill in the details on each character profile that contain where he is now, what happened in the past to make him this way and supposition. Show how that man got that scar. Show why that woman won’t ride a Greyhound bus.

Overall Story Scene Location: Identify indoors or outdoors. Is it a part of the country? Some stories take place in the front seat of a car in a rainstorm. Maybe it is a general store, the saloon, and the barn at a ranch. There is no dialogue here, just very detailed descriptions of the location. For example, this story takes place aboard the interplanetary transport Celestial traveling from the Fordham Nine to Station Cheyenne on Bergen.

Character Scene Location: For each of the Who and Where characters listed above, you will write out the scene location for their major incident. The swing on the old oak at the country house. Crossing the storm-swollen Green River. The ballroom at the St. Regis hotel. Be sure to include what the character saw, smelled, and heard.

Minor supporting character: This is the first interview with a person who knew one of the five characters. You won’t see this minor supporting character anywhere else in the manuscript. They show up or come in to say what they know and then disappear.

For example, the dry cleaner found something in the pocket of the murder victim’s coat when he dropped it off. It is in a little bag attached to the hanger waiting for the victim to return. The restaurant waiter found the coat hanging on the back of the chair, apparently forgotten by the man. The waiter hung it up in the coat area. He glanced up when someone came in to get it but it wasn’t the original patron.

There should be a minimum of 5 minor supporting characters in the story. Two of them should contradict the others and cause conflict in the story.

Causes of Incidents: Here is where you get to describe the cause of each of the five incidents. There will be something in the background of each character that they “blame” for the way they are. For example, Hurricane Katrina caused looting, death and destruction. Wildfires in California spread ash and smoke into the neighboring states along with destruction of property.

Intelligence and Mentality: One of the best things you can do is show how the hero or good guy takes in all this information and processes it to come up with a conclusion or opinion of his own. This is how the good guy reacts to the gathering intelligence on the characters. How is the good guy’s opinion formed about each character? People tell him/her things. He/she reads stuff and learns things.

Supporting Non-Humans: Now you should make detailed description of the non-human portions (cats, dogs, parakeets, goldfish) in the story. Behaviors such as lazy, sleeping cats, fast horses, barking dogs.

Development of Setting: Let’s say the banker rode in on a Harley to Waco. Now let’s say that the attorney arrived in a limousine in Waco. The client arrived in a helicopter to Waco. Let’s figure out why all of them are in Waco. Everybody comes in from somewhere else for a purpose at a location. What are the (sounds, sights, smells, weather, time of day, tastes.)

Deleted Scenes, Characters and Dialogue: Make a folder on your hard drive or a folder where you store your written notes for deletions. Label is as an archived dialogue and text of scenes deleted from the story.

From an online example: The Winters Business Outline

1. Jefferson Mackenzie Winters is the prosperous owner of a freight hauling business and general stores.

2. Competing for Mack’s daughter, Samantha, truck driver Rob sabotages recovering alcoholic store manager Frankie, and takes his job.

3. Several of the Winters’ freight trucks have been repeatedly robbed of freight, and Frankie is suspected.

4. The also-alcoholic sheriff does not take any action on the robberies, preferring to cut a break to a drinking buddy.

5. Big city buyer, Lamont tried to buy the profitable general stores and the freight-hauling business for a low price, but Winters refuses the offer and discusses the property’s true value with Samantha.

6. Samantha is intrigued by Lamont’s New York-educated son, Phillip, who proposes marriage.

7. However, one night while doing inventory, there is a holdup and Phillip runs rather than protect and defend Samantha.

8. Winters is fatally injured in the holdup.

9. Winters has bequeathed his worldly goods to his older sister in Boston, MA so that she may take care of Samantha, but the sister dies, too.

10. The Lamonts pretend that Winters had agreed to sell the business to Lamont Sr, but Samantha knows better.

11. Samantha’s Texas cousin, Susan brings in an attorney, Bilderbrude to try to seize the freight hauling and stores business.

12. Bilderbrude and Susan insist that the freight -hauling business is dying out and the stores are losing money every month, and that Samantha should sell the business, so Susan offers Samantha a small amount of money.

13. Bilderbrude and Susan show their ignorance about freight and merchandising business.

14. Frankie encourages Samantha that the business is worth more than Bilderbrude and Susan say, and advises her that the Lamonts are often poking around in the local store.

15. The Texas lawyer, Bilderbrude finally announces that Samantha has no property rights due to the will of Jefferson Mackenzie Winters.

16. Opposing townsfolk join sides and plot to capture and torture Frankie for the highway robberies of the freight trucks, but Samantha warns him in time.

17. Frankie discovers there are papers that will prove Samantha’s claim to the business and that Susan has seduced Rob to obtain his help.

18. Frankie actually does rob one of the freight trucks but only to grab the box of papers supporting Samantha.

19. Samantha recognizes Frankie at the robbery, and is devastated because she has started to have feelings for him.

20. Samantha orders the Lamonts, Susan and Bilderbrude off the property and fires Rob.

21. Frankie has the Mexican, Victorio deliver the important papers to Diana, showing that Susan was not related to Jefferson Mackenzie Winters and thus not entitled to the property.

22. The Lamonts and Bilderbrude join forces and try to intimidate Samantha into abandoning the business and force her away.

23. Frankie catches Rob robbing one of the freight trucks on a back road and has him watched while in town, but Rob bribes the sheriff and his friends.

24. Rob sneaks in and kidnaps Samantha and heads for a quickie marriage in Las Vegas.

25. Rob claims to be rescuing her, but Samantha knows she does not love him. Frankie follows her doggedly, and eventually rescues her. They return to town, stop the illegal title transfers and announce their impending marriage.

Have You Prepared Your Kids for Surviving?

Friday, September 8th, 2017

How do you prepare your kids for surviving? As parents and adults it is your duty to introduce the kids to the preparedness activities at a young age. The reality of the situation is that most people who are faced with survival aren’t faced with it alone. You have a family which makes the task much harder and also gives you more motivation to make it through and survive.

For all of millennia people have been surviving with kids for whom there wasn’t all of the conveniences of modern society to use while making it through. You need to find ways to do things, where you can keep your children safe, while doing all the tasks we need to do in order to survive. Being prepared is essential to the whole family as they will depend on you for guidance and support to equip them in surviving any calamity. Preparing children for natural disasters will be a challenging experience for all. Knowing what to teach your kids in advance will be the key for them to succeed with the necessary survival skills.

The major concern when surviving with kids is their safety. Children aren’t used to being put in a survival situation, so their natural instinct (curiosity) is likely to put them into contact with unsafe things. Children learn by exploring and they will explore a survival situation like they would any other situation. One of our responsibilities is to establish limits to keep them safe. What is allowed and what is not allowed for them to do. But at the same time you want them to explore and learn. Learning is the teacher! The more they know about dangerous things, the less likely they are to be hurt. To teach a child anything, it’s best to make a game of it. Children learn though play, so turn that lesson into play. The best when trying to teach a child survival skills, take them camping. This will teach them the basics, learning the ways of camping will be the same skills needed in a survival situation. They will be readily active when called upon. Teach them the basics of caring for their safety. Teach them to be alert to the presence of the dangers they may encounter while out camping. You should also have your kids learn how to take precaution in dealing with strangers while out on the camping trip. How you teach your kids about survival to improve their well-being brings about fruitful outcomes in the end. This training enables your kids to act and think maturely at an early age. Your kids will become smarter as adults after you teach them the necessary tools they will need in surviving the disaster.

Include the children in family preparedness discussions. Explain calmly and answer questions honestly and in simple terms. Focus on safety to ensure their survival. Teach your children to memorize basic personal information of your family in the event of separation from other family members. Educate them on the need to stay away from downed trees, downed utility poles and any wires that are lying on the ground. Teach them to recognize the smell of gas and to tell an adult if they smell gas. Instruct them on how to get outdoors and leave the house if they think they smell gas.

Practice evacuation strategies and evacuation routes as a family project. Prepare a mini bug-out-bag for each child. Include a family picture, a toy, a game, book or puzzle to keep them occupied. Include treats to their liking. Also in the family bug-out-bag include copies of the children’s birth certificates, recent photos and anything that will help in preparing for the whole family to survive and to stay together.

When it comes to the children think safety, security and comfort. Preparing is essential to all involved, especially young children. Just being kids make them susceptible in becoming victims of disasters of all sorts.

Food is the one most essential items you must have for you and your family in the midst of a disaster. You will ultimately be depending on survival food kits in order to get food into your body. When these foods stuff items run out, you will have to rely on natural edible products around you for survival in worst case situations. Train your children to eat organic vegetables in meals for disaster preparation, thus making it easier to adjust to the different scenarios in case of a tragic event occurring.

Running safety drills will prepare all to be able to do what doesn’t come naturally and running drills enhances their physical capability to endure the effects of the disaster. Make it a habit to include running as part of the kids exercise routine. Help them improve their survival skills while staying strong and fit. Practice!

One of the most important preps for emergencies is to have the First Aid survival kit ready and stocked. Emergency survival kits saves lives when injuries occur. Even the younger aged kids need to know how to use these tools for themselves and to help others in need. Find time to show them how to use the tools in the first aid kit, as they will not always have someone to look after them all the time. They need to learn the simplest way of protecting themselves to increase their chances for survival.

Plan, prepare, protect, get through, hold on, hold out, make it, and keep body, soul and family together. You need a plan to prepare and to protect yourself and your family. Survival is our Strategy!”