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Also remember that the exposition introduces the characters, setting, and conflict. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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EXPOSITION AND RISING ACTION. Now that a rough draft of your climax is written, you can begin to think about how your story begins. What happened to get your protagonist in the predicament he/she faces in the climax you wrote yesterday? .

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Now that a rough draft of your climax is written, you can begin to think about how your story begins.

What happened to get your protagonist in the predicament he/she faces in the climax you wrote yesterday?

Remember to begin with some sort of attention getter. Make the reader want to keep reading your story.

Also remember that the exposition introduces the characters, setting, and conflict.

Your rising action will then build suspense toward your climax. Make sure to include some foreshadowing & dialogue.


Remember the attention getter from D'arcy?

"I used to think it was just a nightmare. I always woke up shaking."

We want to know what this nightmare is and why he woke up shaking from it. This makes us keep reading.


My exposition and rising action:


I am thrity-one years old and will still run over any man, woman or child to escape one. I have always feared these horrid creatures more than any other. But one moment this Halloween season solidified my hate for the beasts.

Like any teenagers, my friends and I couldn't get enough of horror movies, especially come October. The expected franchises were always a part of our watch list. Freddy Krueger made his annual appearance, keeping me awake and stalking my nightmares for weeks. I dreaded being sent to the basement to help with the laundry in fear that I would find his infamous glove near our furnace. Jason and Michael Myers, along with their accompanying theme music, instigated alot of debate. Were the people they were chasing that slow or was it part of their special evil powers that they could catch their prey without breaking a sweat? You know what I'm talking about. That slow, deliberate, heavy march overtakes sprinting victims as easily as my mom caught me on the phone after my curfew. But none of these horror giants comes close to inciting the violent fear that is caused by men who dress up in pajamas and tote balloons. These are the real demons of the night.

I don't if it was Pennywise in It or the living doll in Poltergeist that dragged the poor little boy under the bed, but clowns, evil grinning clowns, are what makes my spine tingle and the hairs on the back of my neck stand at attention. And the worst thing about clowns is that you can run into them at any old time unexpectedly during any normal day.

Don't get me wrong, I love a good scare once in a while. Which is why I agreed to visit the Mansfield Prison Haunted House last weekend. Some of my friends thought it would be fun to have a night out like we used to when we were in high school. Now, I know I haven't been to a haunted house in quite some time, but I was confidant I knew what to expect. I anticipated the usual man with a chainsaw, creepy hospital scenes or mental wards, dismembered body parts, witches, and maybe even a demon or two. Enough to get the adrenaline flowing and to make your heart skip a beat, but this was all part of the fun.

It was as I expected. For a while. But somewhere between the mad butcher and the demonic car my worst nightmare was realized. My friends had turned somewhere in the blacklight maze and I had been held back by Pinhead. Pinhead left me alone to torture some other lost soul and I found myself alone. I tried to navigate my way out, but anyone who has driven with me before knows I even get lost to places I have been before. Still, I'm pretty calm. I mean, anyone would have begun sweating like they had just run a marathon at this point. My chest might have felt like someone was sitting on it, but that was probably only due to the mustiness of the old prison. I thought I was handeling the situation like a champ, but then things went very, very wrong.


More EXPO/RA examples...from students like you!

What If? = What if I have a phobia of bugs and I came home from school and there is an exterminator parked outside?

I can almost hear the horror film music playing in the back of my head at full blast. Only my horror music is a little unorthodox. I hear that noise of thousands of little scuttling feet on my wall every night.

Ever night it's the same routine: hear the scampering, scream, run. I couldn't help that I heard those beasts every night. Ever since I was little and saw this horror movie where parasistes took over people's brains and lived on their heads, I have been terrified of bugs! Anything with more than four legs is scary to me. If some kid in school had lice, I wouldn't be caught dead on the same floor as him. My hair was too precious to me to get infested by those blood sucking, puny little parasites with all of those disgusting sqauirming legs and antennae. I never told anyone about my fear, I would be made fun of for being a paranoid bug kid, which actually was pretty much true, but still. But there is another big reason I am afraid of lice, and it happened not too long ago.

I wok up with sweat on my face. I looked around my room. Well there's a shocker, I thought, no bugs on my walls, stupid dream. I looked back at the clock. Crap! I slept in again. I ran around to get ready. My room was always spotless, I would not tolerate any messy room where any bugs might find it preferable to live. It smelled like lavender and I always sprayed my room as a morning routine, but I was too late today. As I ran down the stairs I saw this HUGE bug parading up and down the wall.


Clearly she was not aware of the magnitude of this emergency because she only yelled back to get over it and hurry up. So I shut my door to make sure that darn bug couldn't get into my room and ran downstairs, fearing the worst.

I sat in science waiting for class start, visions of that bug using my wall for highway pounding in my brain. If this class wasn't so boring it could probably take my mind off of the bug. But I was an expert in science class and so it was never a challenge. The room smelled like dirt and was full of lab tables, beakers, test tubes, and other biology type necessities. The teacher came in and said we were going to watch a film today. Hmm,I thought, this is probably going to be an easy day, probably some dumb film on photosynthesis or...

"Today we will be viewing a film on bugs and parasites to start off our new unit!" my teacher announced.

My heart plumeted. My heart beat multiplied by 100 and I started to sweat uncontrollably. Oh. My. God. She put in the video. The first scene, gulp, millions of millipedes slitering together like spaghetti noodles gone horribly wrong. Something was slitering in my throat! I raised my hand for a pass to the bathroom which is where I ran to hide the entire rest of the period.

I didn't feel good the rest of the day.I tried to get the nurse to let me go home, but no one answered when I tried to call my house. So I was forced to remain a prisoner in a facilty that thought it was a good idea to allow people to study bugs as an educational endeavor. The nurse's office was dull, but very familiar to me. White walls, dangerous looking utensils used for unkown purposes to jab and poke the human body. Kind of like antennae or spidery legs. As I sat in the office, my head began to itch. Oh no, I have lice! I was frozen to my seat, trying to resist the urge scratch. I was greasy with sweat now. The nurse looked at me like I was some kind of paranoid freak, and finally the bell rang and I couild go home to the safety of my lavender scented room. Or so I thought.


More EXPO/RA examples...from students like you!

What If? = What if you had a phobia of darkness and bugs and you got caught in a cave and were attacked by a swarm of bugs?

Where the Darkness Begins

It all started when I was a child, I would shiver at the sight of these tiny little monster-like creatures that would crawl near me. My father was an entomologist, a bug scientist, and would always chase me around the house with his prized collectables. I was always upset by the fact that my dad was a bug scientist, because it was a rare poisonous bug that killed my Grandma Mae. I was so close to her, and to have something so terrible and random happen like that practically put my heart in a paper shredder. I, like many children, always wanted to impress my father and tried as much as I could to not scream when I saw an ant crawl across the floor.

As I got older I wanted more than ever to spend time with my dad doing what my dad loved most, which was cave exploring. These caves were so interesting to him because of all the odd species of bugs that lived there, so I decided to surprise my dad with a cave exploring experience. It was late October and the leaves were falling of red and orange over the mysterious tunnel that vacuumed up the outside light. It smelled like sitting pond water on a cold day, the air sent a chill down my back as I slowly stepped forward. We entered together with thick boots crunching the stones that sounded like the crushing of bugs.

"Well I want to go this way so how about we split up here and meet back around 6:30,” said my father.

"Alright, umm, guess I'll see you then,” I said, trying not to sound as if I was crying.

My father's footsteps began to fade before I could no longer hear the crunching of his boots, like the end of a song on a CD before it switches to the next track. I turned on my flashlight as I told myself out loud, “It's alright, you can do this, and it's one time for only a couple of hours. This isn't hard; caves are stupid there's nothing to get scared about." I was about to eat those words, for I had no idea of what lied ahead. As I crept through the tunnel which was as black as a Halloween cat at midnight I noticed that my flashlight was flickering simultaneously and the faded light dimmed down till it died halfway through the cave, so 1 quickly flipped the switch a couple more times, and hit the useless light with the side of my palm as if it would make the light work better. At that moment the light went out, and I suddenly heard a million tiny legs tiptoe past me, thinking to myself, "I should run back and forget about this, but would my dad still be proud?" Frantically, I kept hitting the flashlight as the sweat began to drip off the tip of my nose like a leaky faucet, but it wasn't working. I turned back and tried to get around the rocks as much as possible, but the day was growing darker and the only light in the cave became nonexistent. The noises became clearer, as if there were thousands of them circling me.



Dialogue - written conversation between two or more people

Your story MUST contain dialogue!


·reveals the speakers' personality

·keeps the action moving

·adds information

·makes a narrative come alive!



·make it realistic - does it sound like something someone would actually say?

·avoid flat dialogue - give it personality

Flat - "I just heard that I was chosen for the debate team," I told my mom.

Eager Personality - "This rocks! I made the debate team."

Suspicious Personality - "How did this happen? I bombed my try-out."



·use commas to set off the speaker's exact words from the rest of the sentence

"Writing time is special quiet time," Mrs. Loomer reminded us.

·if the speaker's words stand alone, the punctuation goes INSIDE the quotation marks

"I sure can't wait to read all of your phobia narratives!"

comma goes inside quotation marks

punctuation goes inside quotation marks


·you must begin a new paragraph each time the speaker changes

"I really appreciate your willingness to take risks in your writing," Mrs. Loomer praised. "It will pay off both in your grades & in your development as a writer."

"You know, I never thought I could write poetry or use similes like this," a precocious student reflected. "And the imagery in my story rocks! Just wait 'til you read it!"

change speaker =

new paragraph