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					                 280W Standard Storytelling Paper Format
                          (fill in the “blanks”)
   (Adapted from Stephen Buzard Storytelling Paper CAS 280W, September, 2002)

                         Note Name and Assignment on Paper:          Stephen Buzard
                                                                   Storytelling Paper
                                                                  September 30, 2002

I. Introduction
Opening sentence to introduce the central idea, or thesis.

Sometimes when someone insults or threatens us, we jump right into physical
confrontation.

Story or description that gives Audience an imaginative experience.

One student in my dorm used to go the the bars looking for a fight. He would come
home disappointed sometimes, blustering loudly about “not having anyone in town
with the guts to face him.” Yet there were other nights when he arrived home
tanked, black and blue, sometimes even bloody. It was clear that physical violence
didn’t work because he was an average to small build. I always thought that it
would be wiser for him to use his brains instead of his brawn, perhaps using a game
of pool or a video game to show his “enemies” up.

Close with a Transition to the Central Idea/Thesis, and do the same for each
paragraph. (Sum up the idea in the paragraph that matches the thesis which
follows immediately at the beginning of the next pgh.. This can be as short as a
sentence closing the first paragraph, or as long as another paragraph.)

My friend never seemed to get the idea. The rest of us in the dorm did, however.
We all decided to use our heads from something other than a battering ram.

II. Central Idea/Thesis at the Beginning of a Paragraph (2nd or 3rd):
       The theme of the story I will present is one of outsmarting your adversary by
using your head instead of your muscles. ( Or as a Moral: It is better to use your
head and not your muscles to solve a problem.)

III. Preview/Partition in the Central Idea/Thesis paragraph covering
      Setting, Characters, Plot, and Language. [One sentence or Phrase
      for each of the topics linking them to the theme. This may be one
      sentence for each section, or longer as below.]:
The theme can be seen in the dangerous chasm the goats must cross, in the scary
appearance of the troll versus the more reasonable goats, the action showing the
troll’s arrogance changing to defeat, and in the language that describes the contrast
between the violent and more reasonable characters.
[Transition: The last sentence signals the end of the preview, and guides the reader to
the first point.]
These themes can be found reflected in the actions suggested by the story, beginning
with those that “act out” the story’s setting.

   IV. Body (With Topic Sentences Beginning Each Paragraph, Each
   Linking to a Theme like “using your brain rather than your
   brawn.”)
A. Setting. (Three ways in which you can “show” the setting to the audience. For
       each you should have a line or event in the story that suggests the action, a
       description of the action in concrete terms---smiling, emphasizing a word--- and
       a reason for doing it that matches your theme. All these emphasize “using
       brains rather than brawn to solve problems.”).

The setting of the story suggests a passage in life that is blocked by a difficult
obstacle. The action takes place is along side a great chasm near a big grassy
hillside where there is a stone bridge. I will be able to suggest to the audience how
wide the chasm is by using my arms and expanding them wide for all of the
audience to see. For the stone bridge I will be able to advocate that it is long and flat
by using my arms with my palms facing down and spreading my arms out to create
distance from one hand to the other. I can also show how the goats long for the long
grass on the other side by licking my lips. [Summary/Transition:] These actions
should suggest that the goats had a difficult task to perform.

B. Character: (One action for the characters and/or “teller” in the story.)

 [The topic sentence opens the idea of character with a reminder of the theme. ] The
four characters in this story exemplify the theme through the image of the bully, the
small but wily billy goats, and the big brother of billy goats. The first is the scary
troll who is ugly and short. I will use a raspy deep voice for this character to show to
the audience that the troll is wicked. The first of the billy goat gruffs is the little one.
I will use a small humble voice to show that he is small and vulnerable. The second
goat is the big billy goat gruff, for him I will use a deeper voice to show that he his
bigger than the first goat. The final and third billy goat gruff is the biggest, for him I
will use a great deep voice to show that he is the biggest and strongest.
[Summary/Transition:] The audience should be able to see the theme in the loud troll
compared to the less imposing smaller goats, as well as the threat to the troll when
the Big Billy Goat arrives.

C. Plot: (Three actions that can “show” the audience key moments in the story)
The plot of this story suggests that it is better to use mind than muscle. The first
billy goat gruff shapes the idea because instead of trying to fight with the troll, he
simply outsmarts him. He does this by telling the troll to wait for his bigger brother
who has more meat. I can nod slowly with wide eyes to show that this makes sense to
the troll, and so he lets the Little Goat go. I can then use a gravelly quality as I
describe the troll’s stomach rumbling as he awaits the meatier brother. The second
billy goat gruff comes across the bridge as promised by his little brother. He too is
faced with the option of facing the troll. Knowing he has no chance of winning, he
simply outsmarts the troll. He tells him to leave him alone and again wait for yet his
bigger brother. I can show his clever thinking by widening my eyes like an
enthusiastic salesman. The foolish troll can “think” with a wrinkled eyebrow before
he agrees and lets him leave. Now the biggest billy goat gruff is on the bridge. This
billy goat is the biggest and is stronger and smarter than the troll. He knows what
awaits him on the bridge. So he simply sneaks up and knocks the troll off the
bridge. Now everybody can pass the bridge if they desire. In this way the plot is
molded through the interaction of the goats and the troll. [Summary/Transition:]
The first two goats simply outsmart the troll and let the more capable goat of the
brothers face him.

D. Language: (Actions that can highlight important words or images).

There are many actions of voice or face that can help an audience imagine, through
the parts of the story, that using your head is better than using your muscle.
Throughout the story I will suggest the goats as smart and savvy creatures, while
the troll is a little slow of mind. I will do this by showing the goats as self-confident
through big smiles with bright eyes, especially when they are thinking of the next
thing to say to the troll. The troll will have to stop with a puzzled look on his face in
order to consider the goats’ arguments, and his voice will have a slight “old boxer”
quality suggesting his head is stuffed up. Another important image is the change in
power relationships suggested by a change in posture and focus. For the smaller
goats I will look up slightly as if seeing the troll above me, while the troll will look
down slightly at them. Then when the last goat arrives he will look down at the
troll, and the troll will look up at him. The mood of the story will be recognizable to
the audience through the delivery of slightly overdone shyness and timidity to
confidence and bravery. I will perform with a smile the description of the goats
safely and happily eating the grass on the giant hillside along the bridge.
[Summary/Transition:] Then the audience will recognize that the goats tricked the
troll until the Big Billy Goat could defeat him.

V. Conclusion
       [A Summary of Points is not required, but is often helpful. The important
       element is a concrete example/story/quotation that gives the audience one
       more image or experience with the theme.]
        So through the setting, characters, plot and language of the story, the
storyteller conveys the message that brains triumph over brawn most of the time.
The student from my dorm often came home stiff and sore because he worked out
his frustrations by fighting. Others of us went jogging, played basketball, or
working on weight machines. In the end we were sore, too, but we ended up with a
stronger body and greater endurance as an added benefit. We also had fewer visits
to the doctor. So remember the Billy Goats Gruff when you get frustrated by school
or jobs. Find a way to work it out so that the results don’t beat you up in the end.
[The concluding line signals the end of the paper with a mention of the theme.]

(Revised 9/5/08)

				
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