Friday, December 21, 2018

How to Expand a Story


I was back in the Mandarin class. They were "working on their final". The final was a ten minute skit to be performed in class. In Mandarin.


The class got into their groups. They were writing and rehearsing.

"That was three minutes. We have four pages."

The pair's skit was unintelligible to me. (Although, Chinese sounds really interesting spoken.) But I do know something about screenplays.

"In a screenplay, each page is about a minute. So, you're going to need at least ten pages..."

This was not what they wanted to hear. They were out of ideas for what to add.

The plot was simple. The boy was home from college, worried about failing out. They went to lunch and then the library to study. The end.

I noticed a hole in the narrative. The girl could have a problem too...

Funny how it was my second time in this class and I could actually help them again. It's probably due to their assignments being of the writing variety. I do know a little something about writing.

Alas, the translations were all up to them.

15 comments:

  1. It's amazing that you were able to help! I guess you don't need to know the language to know what constitutes good writing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a good thing, too. I don't think any in the sub pool speak Mandarin. Although, I could be wrong.

      Delete
  2. I might have said it before when you mentioned the Mandarin class but its neat that students want to learn that language!

    betty

    ReplyDelete
  3. Agree with Sherry. Good idea you added to their script

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've gotten quite skilled at idea generating for various projects. Experience.

      Delete
  4. Being a sub in Mandarin has to be one of the most interesting days ever.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now I just need to get them to teach me some.

      Delete
  5. I remember having to do something like that for my Spanish class. Like it isn't difficult enough to think of ideas in English! :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. It's still a little amazing that a teacher who doesn't speak the language is sent to sub, but you were able to help. And, you might just become the student and that class your teachers. Who knows what you might pick up? I think I would be fascinated.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are certain subjects where the teacher expects that the sub won't be much help to the students, where the sub's job is strictly supervision.

      Delete
  7. Wow. Super challenging stuff. Kanji doesn't come naturally to those of us in the Indo-European language group. Hope the kids had fun.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They seem to be doing well. They explained how they type it which I found fascinating.

      Delete
  8. How cool! That has to brighten your day. ~grin~ Be well!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Ever thought of teaching a writing class?

    ReplyDelete

I appreciate your comments.

I respond to comments via email, unless your profile email is not enabled. Then, I'll reply in the comment thread. Eventually. Probably.