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NEM
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NEM
Posts: 16
Registered: ‎03-01-2007
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NEM - Visual storytelling writing exercise

Opening is slightly hazy image, but shows a pig-tailed girl of about nine playing little league baseball in what seems to be a championship game. It is a beautiful sunny day and the short bleachers are full of parents. Some grand parents are in folding chairs strategically placed to see the game, get shade and watch toddlers playing in the dirt around the stands. The scoreboard shows the home team down by one run. Suzie is coming out of the dugout with a look of utter determination. A skinny, gangly boy wearing glasses stands on first, his helmet lopsided. The girl hits a solid hit past the out of position infield and the ball rolls all the way to the fence. Both take off running as fast as they can, helmets bobbling on their heads. Turning third, he twists his ankle on the bag, but he stumbles on. The girl overtakes him, just as they both cross home plate. They hug each other jumping up and down, their helmets fall off but they remain hugging and gazing at each other just a moment longer as they both grin. The team empties from the dugout and surrounds them in jubilation. As they move off the field, they both pull out their caps from back pockets simultaneously and put them on in identical quirky motions. He winces and starts limping. She runs over to the concession stand and brings back an ice bag for his ankle. Some of their teammates start teasing them with exaggerated kissing motions. She throws her ball cap at them.

The same tossed ball cap comes down in the next setting into a moving box. The scene shows the same girl just a bit later, packing her baseball glove, a game ball and team photo into a moving box. Looking a bit wistful, she makes sure that she packs the team photo carefully. The box flap closing ends the scene

Next scene, no longer hazy, shows an older Suzie, she appears to be college age or just slightly older. She and several girls are out together at an evening minor league or college baseball game. The girl is starting to fill out her scorecard. She is wearing a ball cap and appears more interested in the proceedings than her friends. She finds herself quizzically, but repeatedly circling the name of the visiting team's third baseman. The player's number is the same as she wore in the opening scene. As he comes out of the dugout, he makes the same quirky move to put on his ball cap that he did in little league. She smiles and whispers to her girlfriends, giggling ensues. Then the group moves to sit near third base. The girls are obviously giving the player a hard time, which he takes good-naturedly and grinning flirts back. The setting ends with the third baseman scoring from first on error up the middle. He slides into home and comes up a little gimpy. He is rubbing his ankle, when he suddenly stands bolt upright looking intently into the section where the girls had been sitting, but they are gone. With a slight limp, but no real injury he goes into the dugout – his eyes searching the crowd as he goes.

The next day on a bright sunny day, we see the girl and just one girl friend sitting, giggling again - next to where the players come out. She again has her scorecard, but this time little hearts are around the player's name. He comes out and puts his hat on with the same quirky motion; he used in his little league game. She throws a little piece of ice from her cup, hitting his neck. He grins broadly, then turns and walks over to talk to the girl. They talk briefly at the railing and he writes his phone number on her scorecard. His teammates start teasing him, in similar manner to the opening making exaggerated kissing noises. He turns to take the field with a huge grin on his face. She turns to take her seat in the stands. She pulls out a cap from her back pocket and puts it on in the same quirky motion, she also is grinning from ear to hear. The cap she wears is a little small and very faded; it is the original baseball cap from the opening scene.
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crAZRick
Posts: 489
Registered: ‎01-27-2007
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Re: NEM - Visual storytelling writing exercise

I like this piece.
I no longer regret that I have no quote, quip or anecdote to share with my countrymen... how about all y'all?
Ian
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Ian
Posts: 45
Registered: ‎03-15-2007
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Re: NEM - Visual storytelling writing exercise

Hey NEM,

You’ve put a lot of effort into this coming of age piece – good job. It’s obvious that you’re a creative soul by how you’ve weaved this short story together. The overall feel is wonderful, but in it I see how you don’t trust your descriptions to deliver your message.

I love the mention of the quirkiness they both have when donning their caps. Later, when these two people meet again, you go a bit too far in describing what it is you want us to remember: …he makes the same quirky move to put on his ball cap that he did in little league. He quirkily dons his hat and she smiles. This would be enough for the reader to make the connection. You are good and can trust that the reader will understand where you want them to go.

There is a guideline (notice how I didn't say rule) in writing that says in late and out early. Here, you might think about that. Try to start a scene as late as possible and end it as early as possible. It helps to alleviate extraneous information which always helps the flow of a piece. When they encounter each other in college must it be twice? Why not have the whole thing play out in a single meeting? In late, out early.

Watch out for passivity in your writing. Is it a championship game or not? Do we really need to know that? Is there a way to show definitely that it is? Do you need to describe parents versus grandparents? Why not have people fill the stands and take up strategic positions in folding chairs around the diamond? It’s these little things that help to streamline your descriptions and get to the heart of the scene. Remember, short paragraphs are best in screenplays.

As I said, this is very nice, but try to concentrate on showing us things more directly related to who these people are and it will be even better. Nice work.

Cheers,
Ian
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Posts: 3,107
Registered: ‎10-27-2006
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Re: NEM - Visual storytelling writing exercise

Your idea comes across clearly. Imagine you're a film editor, you'd probably cut the scenes down if you could. A screen writer has to do such cutting already when s/he's writing (otherwise an editor will not save the movie at the other end) it has to be built in there from the start...... if you do that and get back to pure visuals of the exercise the story will emerge without you needing to tell it.

ziki
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