Historical Fiction – Prewriting Use this Vesuvius eruption timeline to help you plan your story Predawn: many small earthquakes 8am: small emissions from the cone 1pm: sudden, large eruption; 14km-high “mushroom” cloud of debris 3pm: Vesuvius spews hardened lava higher and higher, debris clogs the river Sarno and the port; strong shockwaves; most people flee 5-6pm: Giant chunks of pumice falling and destroying buildings, burying roads; 25kmhigh cloud of debris and ash blocks sun; many lightning flashes August 24, 79 CE Beginning 1-2 am: Scalding mudflows spill down the side of Vesuvius 4am: Herculaneum is buried to the top of tall buildings; everyone there is dead and buried; the plume of ash & debris in the sky collapses on both cities 5am: Strong earthquakes shake the whole area; 2nd surge of lava flow further buries Herculaneum; Pompeii dark from ashes in the air; survivors trying to run but ashes clog throats and streets August 25, 79 CE Middle End 6:30-7:30am: 3rd & strongest pyroclastic surge reaches Pompeii, but wall stops it; more surges force lava over the wall; toxic gas instantly kills any people left; they are buried in ash Most people cannot sit down and just let a story flow from their brain, through their fingers, and onto the page. Even the best writers need to plan their story. This means deciding on a character’s traits, what the problem is, how the character will deal with the problem, and what the outcome will be. In this assignment, the problem is the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. This checklist is to help you plan the other details of your story. Character (Choose the details) Child who is separated from parents? Parent searching for a lost child? Adult helping others to the boats to escape? Survivor trying to rebuild their life? Male? Female? Names (Plan these also) Your character’s name _______________________ Family members’ names: ____________________________ ____________________________ ____________________________ Other names you may want to use: ____________________________ ____________________________ ____________________________ ____________________________ Create details that describe your character and his or her family members. You must name each person that plays a role in your narrative. How are they dressed? Are they tall or short? How does their hair look? What is their job or role in society? Describe the way the ashes have affected their looks. What sounds are heard? How does it make your character feel? You must mention something from each page of your research. Use this checklist to help you to know what should happen next: The timeline of the eruption itself (see other side of page) Clothing Foods Technology, art, trades or jobs Religion Architecture Government and societal roles Family life Each of these details can be worked in during the beginning of your story as you introduce the characters, or during the search for a missing family member, or while describing the things being destroyed by the falling debris and ash. These details can actually help write your story as you figure out ways to work them in. Point of View This is very important for your story, and must be used from beginning to end, consistently. Is your story being told by a narrator who is not part of the story (3rd person), or by the main character telling his or her own experiences (1st person)? Once you begin using 1st or 3rd person you must continue to use it throughout. First Person: I, we, me, mine, us, my, our Third Person: she, he, they, them, theirs You must write a minimum of 700 words. Use the word count option in both Word and Google Docs.