High-concept storytelling in Gone 1: Big concept, small beginnings

Big concept, small set up

The two of them favoured window seats

The people involved in the discussion needs to grow now. It’s a good time to introduce another main character - someone close to the Hero.

Everyone has theories, but nothing’s concrete. It’s a mystery.

“Um, where’s Mr. Trentlake?” It was Quinn Gaither, Sam’s best, maybe only, friend. Quinn sat right behind Sam. The two of them favored window seats because sometimes if you caught just the right angle, you could actually see a tiny sliver of sparkling water between the school buildings and the homes beyond.

“He must have left,” Mary said, not sounding like she believed it.

Edilio, a new kid Sam found potentially interesting, said, “No, man. Poof.” He did a thing with his fingers that was a pretty good illustration of the concept.

GoneMichael GrantSource

Can you find the same pattern in these examples?

“Is that you, Noah? Geez… it’s darker than a bat’s bum around here! What happened?” Noah recognised the voice immediately. Eve was his best mate. They were the same age, lived next door to each other, sat beside each other at school, and saw the same bands. People meeting them for the first time thought they were boyfriend-girlfriend. Or, sometimes, twins.

“Just a power outage,” the checkout operator sighed.

“I’m not so sure,” the shopper who was in front of Noah suddenly piped in. “There’s something weird about it, if you ask me.”

Trixie’s phone buzzed. It was Bronwyn. She’d sent an eye-popping emoji, quickly followed by WHAA??? Bronwyn was Trixie’s closest friend but it was a weird friendship. You couldn’t find more different people. Where Trixie was chill, Bronwyn  was all about the melodrama. The only thing they had in common was nobody else at school liked them.

“If you’re seeing things it’s because you spend too much time on your phone,” said Gran, slapping the remote and pressing buttons randomly because her show had stalled and was just showing that loading circle you get sometimes.

Trixie’s phone buzzed again. A melting-face emoji from Bronwyn. Then a bunch of random notifications on different social apps. People sure were being chatty all of a sudden.

Your turn

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