Thursday, April 11, 2013

Tell Me A Story:

Consider this tragic incident that actually happened. A man was shot and killed for assaulting a fast food worker. He was angry because the fast food outlet ran out of chicken. How to make this into an effective story? This is how Edna Buchanan did it, a reporter for the Miami Herald:
Gary Robinson died hungry.

He wanted fried chicken, the three-piece box for $2.19. Drunk, loud and obnoxious, he pushed ahead of seven customers in line at a fast-food chicken outlet. The counter girl told him that his behavior was impolite. She calmed him down with sweet talk, and he agreed to step to the end of the line. His turn came just before closing time, just after the fried chicken ran out.

He punched the counter girl so hard her ears rang, and a security guard shot him — three times.
She starts with a hook. Then she lets us know what the main character wants and gives us a few clues about the counter girl and the security guard. Evidently, the security guard wanted to make sure the guy was dead.

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