Today we launch into a mini-short story unit. We’re going to look at a handful of short stories and short films. At the core of this unit, we’re going to deal with a basic but important questions: What makes a story worth telling. Short stories are an excellent way to wrestle with this question on a small scale. Short stories are often narrow in focus and singular in purpose. This makes them easy to analyse and discuss as a class.
To open, we’re going to watch a TED talk by Pixar mastermind Andrew Stanton who has some very interesting things to say about the nature of story (i.e. What makes a good one). I want you to pay attention so we can chat about it when we’re done.
HWK: Read the story “Stop that Girl” and answer the following questions on a sheet of paper. These do not have to be complicated, detailed answers (a few sentences each should do) but enough that we can discuss them next class.
- Who’s story is it?
- How are we made to care about that person?
- What is the central character’s inner motivation?
- Is the central character likable or relatable?
- Does the central character change (even slightly) by the end of the story?
- Was this a story worth telling?