LESSON 3.5
Design the Why Section

Grades 7 - Adult

You have created the basic What Statement. Now add the Why Statement.

WHAT STATEMENT
LH
VP
RH
Main Character
Verb Phrase
Troublemaker
I
had a problem with
a tiny man of mirrors I found in a buried treasure chest.
WHAT STATEMENT WHY STATEMENT
LH
VP
RH
Because
Y
Main Character
Verb Phrase
A troublemaker
Because
I
had a problem with
a tiny man of mirrors I found in a buried treasure chest.

Task 3.5.1 – Small Groups

We will start with a fun practice.  Your teacher or instructor will put you in small groups. You will have three minutes to brainstorm as many ideas as possible. The team with the most ideas – not necessarily the best ideas – wins.

  • Do not argue.
  • Do not waste time by going into detail.

Brainstorm Problems Troublemaker Causes

What problems can the troublemaker cause? For example, what kind of trouble can a talking dog get into?

Task 3.5.2 – Small Groups

In the last chapter we had part of a story about someone who finds a tiny man of mirrors in a treasure chest. The tiny man of mirrors has these things about him:

  • He is so small he looks like a doll
  • He is covered with mirrors
  • He probably was buried by pirates
  • He has been buried for two hundred years

So what happens next?

You will have three minutes to think of bad things that happen.

Remember, there is no such thing as a silly idea.

Try to think of things about –

  • His size
  • His mirrors
  • He and pirates
  • His being buried for a long time

Here are some to get you started. He becomes a problem because—

  1. His mirrors make people look fat or skinny.
  2. His mirrors burn people’s eyes.
  3. His doesn’t know what cars are and almost gets people killed.
  4. He reflects people’s souls.
  5. He can read people’s minds.
  6. He is a zombie.
  7. He needs to be reburied every night.
  8. He makes a lot of money.
  9. People think he is a doll.
  10. His mirrors hypnotize people
  11. He causes a lot of trouble.
  12. He insists on entering art shows as “real art.”
  13. His mirrors start fires.
  14. He is a pirate.

It’s your turn.  Here are the rules:

  • You must come up with another ten ideas or more.
  • Everyone in your group must give at least one idea.
  • The team with the most ideas wins a prize.

Task 3.5.3 – Class

After the brainstorming session—

A. Delete any ideas that do not “fit” the troublemaker. For example, if the troublemaker is a tiny man of mirrors, then anything that does not involve some type of mirror does not fit.

Does not fit: I had a problem with a tiny man of mirrors I found in a buried treasure chest, because he made he made a lot of money.

Fits: I had a problem with a tiny man of mirrors I found in a buried treasure chest, because he made he made a lot of money by reflecting people’s souls.

B. Delete any ideas that are automatically true.  For example, “He caused a lot of trouble” does not tell us what the man did.  

See Lesson 2.5 for further explanation.

Task 3.5.4 – Small Group or Class

Grade the ideas.  Do not argue. 

A = Adults are not likely to think of the idea right away AND are likely to say, “Wow!”
B = Adults are not likely to think of the idea right away.
C = Adults are likely to think of the idea right away.

The Results

B         His mirrors make people look fat or skinny.
B         His mirrors burn people’s eyes.
B         His doesn’t know what cars are and almost gets people killed.
A         He reflects people’s souls.
C         He is a zombie.
B         He needs to be reburied every night.
B         People think he is a doll.
B         His mirrors hypnotize people
A         He insists on entering art shows as “real art.”
B         His mirrors start fires.

No A Ideas?

If you don’t have three or more “A” ideas, then use one or more of the techniques below.  See Lesson 2.5 for futher explanation.

  • Brainstorm more
  • Funnel
  • Piggyback

Added:

  • A – He is a zombie pirate who mirrors the past.
  • A – He is judged as a makeup doll at the county fair.

Class 3.5.5 – Class

A. Enter the A ideas into a Decision Table. You will have one row for each idea, plus the heading.

B. Decide on criteria for evaluating the ideas.

Make sure all have an st.
Make sure all are positive.
Examples: Which idea—

Do I most want to write about?
Will most likely interest adults?
Is the funniest?
Will make readers most think about morality?
Will best use my background?
Will have the shortest time period?
Will have the fewest characters?
Will best use the troublemaker I selected?

Etc.

Choose at least two emotional problems the main character can have with the troublemaker.  For example:

  • Dislike of always being asked to find things, such as the father’s wallet, keys, etc.
  • Dislike of mirrors.

The problem can also be a good thing, such as being lucky, and then the troublemaker changes all that.

Idea

Which do like best?

Which will most likely interest adults?

Total

Judged as a makeup doll at the county fair

1

2

3

Zombie pirate who reflects the past

3

1

4

He reflects people’s souls

2

3

5

Reflecting souls is the winner.

Task 3.5.5 – Class

A. Choose a situation from among all of those in the previous chapters.
B. Choose a troublemaker. Use brainstorming and a Decision Table.
C. Choose a problem the troublemaker causes. Use brainstorm and a Decision Table.
D. Fill in the What/Why Table. Make sure there is only ONE problem. For example:

WHAT STATEMENT WHY STATEMENT
LH
VP
RH
Because
Y
Main Character
Verb Phrase
A troublemaker
Because
problem troublemaker caused
I
had a problem with
a tiny man of mirrors I found in a buried treasure chest.
Becasue
he reflected people’s souls.