Notebook Assignments Jan/Feb 2013


Notebook Assignments, January 2013 (and see mythology notes from 7 Jan for more info)


The form is up to you. Dialogue, monologue, spoof newspaper article, short story, dramatic scene, poem or factual feature.


You can do a little research to give your piece depth if you wish – always good practice.


1                  Pandora’s Box


Has your character opened something they shouldn’t have touched? A letter that should have remained ‘For Your Eyes Only? An old packet of Kodak black and white photos they found hidden, taped to the back of a drawer in their mother’s writing desk? Think of Howard Carter opening Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922. Now that was a Pandora’s Box he should have left alone. The alleged curse ran rampant once he’d disturbed the Pharaoh …


2                  Playing with fire


Fire burns, destroys, consumes, heats, lights, melts. But it can also mean regeneration. Think of Fawkes, the Phoenix in Harry Potter. Consumed by flame and born again. Who does something crazily dangerous, ultra-risky – something they’ve been warned against because it will hurt? Do they survive to tell the tale? Are they a better person for the experience?


3                  The Evil Eye


I met a man once in the 1980s (I interviewed him when I was running a recruitment agency) whose eyes made my blood run icy. He emanated evil. I couldn’t wait to get him out of the office and away from my team of young female staff as he looked at us all with a chilly predatory gaze. I was so concerned, I informed the police. He was arrested shortly afterwards on suspicion of raping and murdering several young girls. I subsequently found out he’d done 17 years in Parkhurst Prison and creatively covered it up on his ‘work-of-fiction’ CV. Write about someone who is what the police call ‘born evil’.


4                  I put a spell on you


Imaging a meeting between two people, one of whom is captivated by the other who has a mesmerising, hypnotic effect on them. Write first as the hypnotised and then as the mesmeriser.


5                  From Russia with love


Her mum, Larisa, was a ship’s engineer; her Dad, Igor, a musician. They wanted her to be a lawyer, but the only thing she lived for was the thrill of the dance. Take Kristina on a journey from Russia to the bright lights of New York, Paris or London.


6                  Blue Suede Shoes


Are they French navy peeptoe stiletto heels and you’ve just got to have them? Or size 14 brothel creepers on a really big fella in a shoestring tie with a penchant for Carl Perkins? Or maybe it’s a line from the song lyrics that set you off on this story?


7                  Seven Fairytale Characters


Check back on your mythology notes again (last page) to refresh on these seven character ingredients of fairytale, then see if you can include all of them in a story. List your characters against the ‘functions’ below first, then weave them in:


The Elder


The Hero


The True Love


The Villain


The Helper


The Friend


The Messenger