Mini Workshop: Activism in Storytelling

Hello there. Welcome back to writing tips with The Shouting Mute. Now I’m going to talk about action and activism. They are both very important to writing. They both propel the story forward and get your audience engaged.
Now we had a character, Charlie who goes to the penny arcade near Bournemouth pier. Charlie met his crush and that was the action in the last bit of plot, which is fine and great if you’re just writing as escapism, but there might be a deeper meaning to your story or your writing that you would like to get across.
For this, list some issues that you might like to explore –
Disability rights, Brexit, Viruses, Alcoholism, Mental Health, an event in history, Stan Lee… Whatever and/or whoever you’re interested in. Then pick one and do some research on your subject. You can also draw on your own experiences if it’s a subject that relates to you, or write from memory. I will pick disability rights.
Now for this exercise I will turn Charlie into a wheelchair user. He has GCSEs to get in to college, but the college wants him to study a course in ‘Life Skills’, because he is a wheelchair user. That’s the scenario, and here is my example –
Charlie: I’m going to Poole college to study sports leadership. I like sports, I’m quite social and I play sports in school all the time.
The teacher: Really, sports leadership? We have a good life skills course. It’s the one most of our disabled students do. You would be cooking, going out in the town and planning trips out.
Charlie: I’ve worked in a gym and they told me about the course they did at DW Sports. They know what to do. I go to a disability sports club and help run the under 15’s already. It’s what I want to do.
The teacher: That’s nice but that course is level 4. Your school said you’re only at level 3. Life Skills will give the experience you need.
Charlie: Well maybe then, but I really want to study sports leadership, and you’re suggesting Life Skills just because I’m a wheelchair user. You’re saying I can’t do something, and I could sue you for that.
Adding action and activism can add to your story and tell people about real life situations, but also you’re relaxed with it not being about you. It’s just a similar story that you and your audience can relate to. You can also get a conversation going around the situation you’re talking about.
That’s it for today. Join me in a couple of days for more, and let me know how you get on with adding action and activism to your writing.

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