The Story Lab: Short Story Reflection

The story that I created mirrors what the readings where saying, and the activities that were done in class. It has a substance, builds to a final action, and has a protagonist. Approaching this task, I decided on a final action, that involved the protagonist, and was similar to the stories that we have been looking at, as it has a beginning, middle and an end.

In the story, the protagonist (Anna) shows early on, that she has a conscious desire. It illustrates the quote from ‘The Substance of Story’ by Robert McKee, that we cast out the finer points of “daily existence in which human beings take actions expecting a certain enabling reaction from the world, and, more or less, get what they expect” (McKee). The story demonstrates the three layers within the ‘story circle’, the inner circle, Anna’s own self and conflicts, her home that she grows up in, her past, the emotional state, and future ambitions; the second circle, her personal relationships with her step mother, father and her grandmother; the third circle, which is the extra personal conflict, her unstable/abusive relationship with her step mother, and her strong/close relationship with her grandmother.

Another process that was taken to reach the final outcome, was looking into ‘The Philosophy of the Short Story’ by Brander Matthews, where the author talks about the unity of a short story, and how it shows one action, in one place, on one day, and it deals with a single character, a single event and a single emotion. My story illustrates this notion by having the accidental murder, at the house, in one morning, with the protagonist involved throughout the whole ordeal. She has the one emotion, to be free. In the reading ‘The Database’ by Lev Manovich, it talks about a traditional linear narrative, it contains an actor and a narrator, and its contents should be “a series of connected events caused and experienced by the actors” (Matthews). My story contains both a actor and a narrator, however it is the same person, it is the young girl who is narrating her own life, and her choices and the choices made by those around her cause events that are detrimental to the overall storyline.

1 Thought.

  1. I thought that the piece was an excellent way of illustrating points raised in the readings. The connection to the readings themselves was clear and linear and did a good job of making concepts within them easy to understand. While the story functioned exceptionally well as a demonstration of storytelling conventions, it could conceivably be furthered as a story and expanded upon. I would be interested to see a furthering of Anna’s background and character outside of the home and how her family situation manifests itself in the other spheres she inhabits, and how her goal is ultimately realized.

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