Picture property of Agnes
Lisa talked about "The Structure of The Story" ,or Gustav Freytag's triangle. There's exposition, background information needed to understand the story; rising action, internal and related conflicts being introduced; climax, or turning point of the story, from good to bad or bad to good. Falling action, where the protagonist winning or losing against the antagonist is in doubt. Finally, resolution or conclusion of the story.
This week, I'm going to deal with exposition of "Across The Sea". The reason for this is the upcoming National Novel Writing Month in November or NaNoWriMo or NaNo. I don't usually outline or structure my short story. I just sit down and begin to write. But in November, I've got to write 50,000 words, so I feel I need to have structure to follow to write a novel.
Exposition, per the article on Freytag's Pyramid, consists of early material providing the theme, establishing the setting, and introducing the major characters and sometimes early hints of the coming conflict. I have one major character, Andrea or Andy for short. The setting is by the sea, what sea? Do we need to give it a name or use a true location?
Andy sat by the sea, listening to the lapping water as the small waves continually rolled onto the beach. The brown pea shaped pebbles quivered in the water. She reached down with her hand and picked up a few of them. Thinking about the past three days since she had arrived, just waiting for some word that all were safe.
Andy is short for Andrea. Andrea Carmichael was born to Air Force Major Thomas Carmichael and Lillian Carmichael while they were stationed at Kadena AFB, Okinawa, on April 15, 1980. Maybe that's why Andy loved anything to do with the Orient. The smell of sandalwood and flowers. The beautiful and fragile artwork. The gentleness of the people. She was twelve when her Dad was transferred to another assignment, but she never forgot the years at Okinawa. Eighteen years had passed, she had turned thirty last month. Andy thought about this past Christmas when her Mom, Dad and younger brother, Danial, had decided to plan a return trip to Okinawa. She became excited about the trip, making plans, emailing back and forth as to where they would stay, where they would go and who they would see.
Since her divorce a year ago, Andy wasn't bringing anyone. Emily, Danial's wife, was coming, so that made five people to plan for. Andy would be the first to arrive as she would be leaving from Birmingham, Alabama and flying over. Everyone else couldn't finish up their work until the following day, so they were going to leave from New Orleans. What a difference a day can make.