Project three

Project 3 -page 72-exercise

1) Choose a short story, either one you’ve written, work in progress or a story you’ve read. Match the story onto the plot template.


Eurotrash by Irvine Welsh (The Acid House, 1995, Vintage)

1, Life in the beginning

Euan is staying with a friend in Amsterdam while trying to get off drugs.

  1. Trigger (to the sequence of actions

Euan goes into the city centre of Amsterdam to look for work and meets Chrissie in a bar where she is apparently in a relationship with the barman, Richard. He agrees to spend a day at the seaside with them and, although he despises her, decides to steal her away from Richard.

  1. Sequence of actions

Euan starts an affair with Chrissie, but as he straightens himself out and gets a job, he leaves Chrissie. He gets his own flat and meets a girl who he likes very much, and they become a couple. One night, they meet Chrissie on the street, and she regales Euan over the way he treated her. She leaves them in a very distressed state. Euan explains his relationship with her to his new partner.

  1. Climax

Richard goes to see Euan and tells him that Chrissie has committed suicide after the way that he treated her.  He tells him that if he cared anything for her, he would attend the funeral the following week in Jersey where she came from. Euan and his girlfriend go to Jersey and discover that Chrissie is actually Christopher and has spent his whole life estranged from his family because of his sexuality.

  1. Life at the end.

Euan goes back to Amsterdam and apologises to Richard for everything he has done. Now understanding Chrissie fully he feels a great sorrow instead of despising her and realises how judgemental he has been.



2) Use a character I have created and think of a trigger relevant to your character’s life at the beginning. Drop him/her into the template and take your character through the stages 1 to 5. Once you’ve got your trigger, you’ll probably find the rest flows. Write an outline and then a draft.


1, Life in the beginning

Susan lives alone and helps to look after her grandchildren (her abusive husband Tony left her several years ago when her own children were small).

  1. Trigger (to the sequence of actions

Susan is contacted and attracted to a man (Tom), who she knew as a teenager and starts a relationship with him.

  1. Sequence of actions

Tom slowly becomes more and more possessive. He doesn’t like her spending too much time with her family, but Susan thinks that she will change him in the end. She agrees to go on a holiday with him.

  1. Climax

On the first night of the holiday, he becomes very drunk and belligerent when she wants to phone home to say they have arrived safely and says that her previous husband probably had enough reason to abuse her. She decides to telephone her family and he locks her out on the balcony.

  1. Life at the end.

Susan calls her granddaughter, but as in the past, she finds herself unable to tell her granddaughter what is happening or to ask for help.


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