Just a short 'help' topic

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Just a short 'help' topic

Post by Trick on Wed Sep 22, 2010 4:41 am

I've sent this to Rebecca, but since she's offline and I would like to get a variety of opinions, I'm posting this here.

Recently (as you probably know) for my English GCSE, I've been given a short story to write. It has to revolve around "Change". I know what I want to do, and I have good ideas for the middle and end, but I'm lost as how to start it all off. Do you mind if you give me some ideas? Here's some details just in case:

1. The characters name is Thomas Forlong. He's a 16 year old boy, who lives in London with his parents and siblings.
2. I plan for Thomas to be sent to fight for the army (unwillingly of course, he hates war and death)
3. I want the story to start in London.*

*This is the main problem. I have no idea what he would be doing in London. I don't want to start the story when he is forced to join the army, as then the readers won't have an idea of his background. But what else could he be doing?

Feel free to ask for more details. I have a whole Character sheet on Thomas. A "profile" with his background, beliefs, likes/dislikes etc.

I'll be very grateful if you could help.

In summary:

I'd just like to know what you would think would be a good opening to a WW2 story.
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Re: Just a short 'help' topic

Post by Aletrius on Wed Sep 22, 2010 5:05 am

An ordinary, middle-class background maybe?

You could start with a flashback.
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Re: Just a short 'help' topic

Post by Trick on Wed Sep 22, 2010 5:19 am

Thomas1134 wrote:An ordinary, middle-class background maybe?

You could start with a flashback.

Yeah, he come's from a working class background Wink

A flashback seems good, thanks. Now to see what others think.
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Re: Just a short 'help' topic

Post by SuperLoki on Wed Sep 22, 2010 5:52 am

Woops, sorry. I didn't realize I was away for so long Hard Work I replied to your PM.

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Re: Just a short 'help' topic

Post by Arkanay on Wed Sep 22, 2010 6:02 am

What about having him doing some shenanigans with his friends?

Like some innocent, teenage fun that often gets on the nerves of the elderly.


That could kind of give a natural look and introduction to the story.


After reading Thomas suggestion, you can do a little trick and change the order. You can start right in the middle, where he is during the war, fighting, etc. Then after a while you can throw a flashback from when he was a kid and stuff was all fun and games and how it changed after.
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Re: Just a short 'help' topic

Post by Trick on Wed Sep 22, 2010 6:07 am

SuperLoki wrote:Woops, sorry. I didn't realize I was away for so long Hard Work I replied to your PM.

You have a life out of this forum (as do nearly all of us anyway), so no problems Wink

Ark, thanks for the advice, I may well include teenage fun Wink However I have now planned my story, and here it is:

1. Thomas recounts his past with a flashback. His childhood and especially going to the countryside in the summer, where the green fields lie, and the daisies blossom. (Then a transition to where he is now, The Sommes, and he starts off saying something along the lines of 'Now the fields have changed to a desolate grey colour, and the blood and corpses of men lie in the damp, wet ground they call the Front Line.' Something better expressed than that,
2. Diary entries of the battle of Sommes (Where some of his friends die)
3. Diary entry of then end of the battle, where his happiness of the end of the battle is destroyed by the news that his parents were killed during a London bombing
4. Thomas returns to London after the battle while the war is at a somewhat standstill, and see's what was his home lying in front him, a ghostly memory of his past.

The story has to be 1000 words in total, so 250 for each part will be good.

Thanks to all of you, especially Rebecca who gave her ideas through PM's. I've got the ideas I need, so we can let this R.I.P. Smile
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Re: Just a short 'help' topic

Post by MarkyDMan on Wed Sep 22, 2010 6:09 am

WOAH! NO bombing. Bombing was rare in WW1, and it almost never reached london.

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Re: Just a short 'help' topic

Post by Aletrius on Wed Sep 22, 2010 6:11 am

I agree with Marky. Having his parents die in a bombing raid is perhaps slightly too 'out there'.
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Re: Just a short 'help' topic

Post by MarkyDMan on Wed Sep 22, 2010 6:11 am

Only 14 bombs were ever dropped on London during WW1 (at least, that's what my history teacher said)

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Re: Just a short 'help' topic

Post by SuperLoki on Wed Sep 22, 2010 6:13 am

If there was only that small amount, then how rare it was would add to the devastation and impact it would have on the main characters and relatives.

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Re: Just a short 'help' topic

Post by MarkyDMan on Wed Sep 22, 2010 6:14 am

:l MAybe, but they rarely killed. Or went off, for that matter

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Re: Just a short 'help' topic

Post by SuperLoki on Wed Sep 22, 2010 6:15 am

Ah, good point. Could still add to the devastation, but as stated, it's just far too unlikely.

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Re: Just a short 'help' topic

Post by Arkanay on Wed Sep 22, 2010 6:15 am

I also don't think he would receive news in the frontline regarding what happened to his parents scratch
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Re: Just a short 'help' topic

Post by Aletrius on Wed Sep 22, 2010 6:15 am

I think it would be best to have the story end with him returning home and seeing his parents.
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Re: Just a short 'help' topic

Post by MarkyDMan on Wed Sep 22, 2010 6:16 am

Maybe a downed airship landed on them?

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Re: Just a short 'help' topic

Post by Trick on Wed Sep 22, 2010 6:16 am

Excuse me:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Blitz

And also, soldiers did receive letters from their families on the front line. We read one just the other day from a private in WW1. And if both parents is OTT, then how about just his dad dying? That better?


Last edited by Trickatel on Wed Sep 22, 2010 6:18 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Just a short 'help' topic

Post by Arkanay on Wed Sep 22, 2010 6:17 am

Maybe he can return home to find his mother only, perhaps in tears, while his father died of a heart attack, for example.
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Re: Just a short 'help' topic

Post by MarkyDMan on Wed Sep 22, 2010 6:17 am

The Blitz was WW2. The Somme is WW1

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Re: Just a short 'help' topic

Post by Trick on Wed Sep 22, 2010 6:19 am

MarkyDMan wrote:The Blitz was WW2. The Somme is WW1

Gah, silly me. History lessons and whatnot messing with my head Laughing I meant WW2, sorry.
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Re: Just a short 'help' topic

Post by Aletrius on Wed Sep 22, 2010 6:19 am

So where is he fighting in WW2?
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Re: Just a short 'help' topic

Post by MarkyDMan on Wed Sep 22, 2010 6:21 am

Ah, OK. I would have thought WW1 would be a better war from a story point of view because of the 'style', whereas WW2 is mostly long-distance tank fights and aircraft dogfights. WW1 is the more 'meaty' war

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Re: Just a short 'help' topic

Post by Aletrius on Wed Sep 22, 2010 6:23 am

If you want to go for the bloodblath, then the Somme would likely be the best. But then the most you do would be for the father to die.
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Re: Just a short 'help' topic

Post by Trick on Wed Sep 22, 2010 6:25 am

Thomas1134 wrote:So where is he fighting in WW2?

That's the issue. I was thinking the Battle of Normandy, but I'm not entirely sure.

I might do WW1 Thomas, but yeah, there's the father issue that's bugging me.
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Re: Just a short 'help' topic

Post by Aletrius on Wed Sep 22, 2010 6:27 am

You are going to have to make a decision. WW1 or WW2?

You have to take risks. Indecisiveness can be lethal.
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Re: Just a short 'help' topic

Post by Trick on Wed Sep 22, 2010 6:30 am

Thomas1134 wrote:You are going to have to make a decision. WW1 or WW2?

You have to take risks. Indecisiveness can be lethal.

WW1. Since it was more infantry based. It would be hard writing about people in bombers/tanks and whatnot.
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