Storytelling : A ‘not-so-easy’ task (Part two)

Click here to go back to Part one.

I want you to picture this scenario. You get an essay detailing that you are about to receive your KCSE results (final high school exam results). You are told to continue with the story.

You’ve been given all the freedom to choose the duration your story takes. Your decisions are also up to you. The thing you have to maintain is morality (don’t become obscene.) You also have to be realistic- don’t tell us after this that your story includes how you get the best job in the country after graduating from university! So, having established the reality, you also have to have a basic idea of the stages your story could take.

Basically, a story should have a rising action, a climax and a falling action (anticlimax). This will help you when writing the story so that you may establish how your story will shape up. This is determined by the events you decided to incorporate into your story. Notably, a story is not always meant to end in a falling action or resolution. Sometimes, a story is best defined with suspense.

Now, let us break some ways this story could shape.

  • You hear that results are streaming down. As people receive messages of how they have performed, you receive a call from your friend. Your parent who has been nagging you to check your results lets you go to pick the call. Your friend informs you that your school got its results cancelled. You are shocked. You tell your parents who then rally your classmates’ parents to go question the school administration about the scenario. As you go to demonstrate about the issue, some bystanders begin vandalizing the school. Later on in the report, the ministry reports that the school will get its results apart from those who assaulted teachers and vandalized the school. The story ends with you going to school and finding your names among the list of vandals.
  • You actually receive an SMS that you passed. People come to celebrate with you. As you are celebrating, you get a sad message that your friend didn’t pass. You try to call him or get any information but the villagers and TV crew keep bothering you. You are booked and get to go to one popular national TV station. Just as you are about to be interviewed you hear them announce that a KCSE student has committed suicide. You are shocked to hear your friend’s name. [You can end the story in the climax or you can decide to have a falling action and resolution. For example your character can decide to give a heatwarming message to fellow exam finalists not to commit suicide and offer hope.]
  • You pass. But you don’t celebrate as much since you have no money for university. You get a donor call telling you that you can get paid in kind as long as you sell your A grade result to him for his son’s C- grade result. You will get to go to a college that has been paid for so long as you do this and don’t tell anyone. You attempt applying for other donor programs but find that they are full. You are just about to give in and accept the offer when you get a call from your area chief saying that he has negotiated an interview on TV for you which could end up helping you get a donor.
  • {Last but not least, you could go the not-so-straightforward route. Such stories tend to consume time and space so for an essay, you need to be a fast writer. I found that these stories are almost always rewarding. However try as much as possible to be realistic.} You send the SMS to the number severally but you don’t get a reply. You become anxious because your classmates are getting their results and not you. You and your parents question the school administration but they say they are similarly in the dark. Funny enough your results come as a blank. Not a Y or anything else (to notify you that your results were cancelled or that you were found to be cheating). You call the board incharge of marking and disemmination of results (in this case KNEC at Jogoo House) but failed to get them because they are busy. People go back to school to choose courses they’ll take in university. You accompany them in the hopes your results have come out. The deputy principal who taught you History mocks you for not having results, stating publicly that you brought the mean score of the school down. You feel so broken and frustrated. Even some of your friends mock you. You apply to enter a TVET so as to continue with life. You are informed you must have your final certificate or transcript from highschool to join. Just as you get home contemplating suicide a message enters your phone. You got an A grade result, top of your school. The story is covered on national television and many newspapers. You not only to go to the best university of medicine in the country but also get compensated by the government to have the first two years of your fees catered for. People cone to your home to celebrate. Those who had scoffed at you eat their words.

Remember as you write, become unpredictable, not unrealistic.

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