Day 7: 10-minute storytelling
🏴 Stori 10 munud
I am a gay, autistic writer in London. I am working with other autistic people, teaching them how to create and write great stories! I would love them to be inspired to write in order to give themselves a cathartic, creative voice (like I was inspired as a teenager).
However, for today's challenge, it doesn’t matter whether you’re autistic or not - We all have stories inside us, and I would love you all to be inspired to write in order to express your voice!
I started writing aged 15 while trying to make friends with someone from Britain’s Got Talent after many years of tough times socially at school. This inspired a passion for writing that has lasted since, notably at college where I made friends through writing a script, then directing a scratch performance using students on other courses.
I’d love other people’s lives to be changed through the excitement of writing like mine was. I would be inspired by the autistic people in my group when writing my current and future autistic characters, as autism is a spectrum, and I would like to represent as much of that as possible.
Today we are using the ‘DOTS’ method to create an idea for your own short script in 10 mins. Use the method to help your story appear - try not to spend longer that the time indicated!
Here’s what to do:
1 minute: Think up a central character to tell your story through, and any other supporting characters to be in your story. You don’t have to get to the ‘nitty gritty’ - just name and gender is enough for now.
2 minutes: Choose a location for your your story to be told in. Initially write down what it looks like, but then I want you to imagine being in the location with your eyes closed: What can you hear, feel and smell?
3-5 minutes: Now, build your scene using a formula designed to deliver the sort of conflict and drama that makes all plays, tv shows and films unmissable!
This is called D.O.T.S - I explain it through a very basic example story:
Desire - What does your central character (your ‘protagonist’) want? (eg: to make breakfast)
Obstacle - What is getting in their way/stopping them from getting what they want? (eg: the kitchen door is locked)
Tactic - What does your protagonist do to try and overcome the obstacle? (eg: kick the kitchen door down to get their food!)
Success? - Is your protagonist successful? If they are, great! But often stories work best if they are not successful straight away, because this helps to keep the drama up. Even better - does your tactic not only fail, but create a bigger obstacle?
An example in my story could be the protagonist hurting themselves by kicking the kitchen door down, meaning their obstacle has grown and they need to come up with a new tactic to both manage their pain and make their breakfast.
Play with the DOTS formula for your scene until you have an ending you’re satisfied with.
BONUS - 3 mins If you have time, have a go at creating a scripted scene between 2 or 3 characters that tells your DOTS story. If there is just 1 character - it could be a monologue script, or their internal thoughts.
Remember - it’s not about creating a perfect script - but about getting an idea on the page!
How did this exercise make you feel, and as a result, are you inspired to carry on storytelling and writing?
I would you to share your responses online, inviting their family, friends and followers to have a go too.
Perhaps you could film yourself or your family and friends could act out reading your scripts and story creations!
This would bring it to life more, and connect people through actual action, not just words on laptops and phones.
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