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The day will come when I can write stories that the reader can’t put down

Fig.1. My goal. To write scenes as fluidly as changing gear.

Goal: What does my central character want from this scene?

Conflict. Who is the conflict with?

Disaster. What is the disaster for this scene?

Fig.2. Common scene writing errors. From Bickman.  

I have characters, locations, events and situations in my head. For some characters the story runs for fifty years, most intense age 6 to 21. Armed with this editor’s tool I can ruthless delete, rewrite or come up with fresh scenes that meet the above criteria. It fits the pattern I want in my head of a story with momentum – that could be made into a linear drama for TV or film. I particularly recognise the need to ask repeatedly ‘what is the disaster?’ to conclude a scene. I related to this from a career in writing persuasive copy and videos where you repeatedly ask, then ask again ‘what is the problem?” The first answer is usually weak, though compelling … more likely the ninth or tenth idea will fit the brief.

Fig.3. Elements of Fiction Writing

I continue to read, note and try ideas from Jack M. Bickham’s book ‘Elements of Fiction Writing – Scene & Structure.’ I continue with the Open University course on FutureLearn ‘Start Writing Fiction’, as well as content on Open Learn of the same title.   

I also contribute to a LinkedIn group and Facebook pages on ‘Start Writing Fiction’ while writing in my own blog ‘Start Writing Fiction.’

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12 research questions featured in a spider map

Fig.1. Research questions spider map

When reading an academic paper give it due consideration by using this spider map as an aide-memoire.

It runs from Structure in a clockwise direction through to Implications.

I’ve only just counted the number of ‘issues’ – 12 is a coincidence.

The reality so far is that 8 will do it, 12 if I want to be thorough and probably just a few of these if I am going to look at title, abstract, authors.

I create a standard template using these as I go along – two columns minimum, sometimes three depending what I want to take, or share or develop from the paper.

In time these should become automatic.

‘Paradigms’ still throws me.

I’m not hot on ‘Concepts’ or ‘Frameworks’ either.

All the more reason to be on the postgraduate module H809 : Practice-based research in educational technology with the Open University

 

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