When I originally started the with a Cheer Me Up story assignment, I knew that I wanted it to be a series (hence why the first one ended in a cliffhanger). I just didn’t know exactly where I wanted to go. I have since figured that out. More detailed instructions will be assigned later, but this is the overall structure the stories will start out with:
- Cliffhanger – The chapter ends with a cliff hanger.
- Revelation – The chapter includes a surprising revelation (or plot twist) about one of the main characters.
- Concurrent Flashback – The chapter is a flashback which occurs during (1) or (2), which involves another main character. During the chapter the character must have an opportunity to interact with the characters in the main story line, but they are not required to do so. (If this is confusing, think of the movie Pulp Fiction.)
- Cliff Hanger 2 – Back at the main story, the chapter again ends with a cliff hanger.
- Integration – The concurrent flashback merges with the main story line
- Short 1 – A short vignette, peripherally related to the main story.
- Choices – The majority of the chapter is based on a choice made by one of the characters, and it ends with a open ended choice. (If the choice is to be made by a person based in reality, who is not the author, that person will be required to make the choice. Otherwise, I will make it. The answer will be delivered with the assignment for Chapter 9.)
- Short 2 – A short vignette, peripherally related to the main story.
- Consequences – The results of the choice to be made at the end of Chapter 7 is revealed, and the consequences of it are played out.
- Short 3: Art – A short vignette, peripherally related to the main story, in which all of the main characters are involved in some sort of artistic project.
Though it is subject to change (or be lengthened), I have made this list available so that you might be able to plan your story out a bit better (and not be in too much of a bind when you find out what is coming next). As a general rule, I despise the use of deus ex machina. It’s just too convenient.
Update (August 2, 2009):
In order to have a single link to point back to, I am add the rest of the rules for the story here:
- The story is to be fiction.
- The client is to be the main character in the story.
- The story is to be told in a third-person narrative.
- The story is to be illustrated with at least three new pictures.