High-concept storytelling in Gone 3: Ramping up

The scale quickly expands


So far, the events in Gone have stayed small. First, Sam and Quinn’s teacher vanishes,  then Astrid’s class. Those passages have also introduced our three heroes.

Now, in the next passage, the view widens suddenly. 

Someone screamed.

The three of them stumbled into the hall, which was now full of kids. A sixth grader named Becka was the one screaming. She was holding her cell phone. “There’s no answer. There’s no answer,” she cried. “There’s nothing.”

For two seconds everyone froze. Then a rustle and a clatter, followed by the sound of dozens of fingers punching dozens of keypads.

“It’s not doing anything.”

“My mom would be home, she would answer. It’s not even ringing.”

“Oh, my God: there’s no internet, either. I have a signal, but there’s nothing.”

“I have three bars.”

“Me too, but it’s not there.”

Someone started wailing, a creepy, flesh-crawly sound. Everybody talked at once, the chatter escalating to yelling.

“Try 911,” a scared voice demanded.

“Who do you think I called, numbnuts?”

“There’s no 911?”

“There’s nothing. I’ve gone through half my speed dials, and there’s not anything.”

The hall was as full of kids as it would have been during a class change. But people weren’t rushing to their next class, or playing around, or spinning the locks on their lockers. There was no direction. People just stood there, like a herd of cattle waiting to stampede.

GoneMichael GrantSource

We’re introduced to the mob, aka everyone else. 

Kids using phones

From a storytelling point of view, while not villains, they’re different from our heroes. They’re sometimes helpful, sometimes in need of help. Usually, they’re another thing for the main characters to deal with, because they don’t have the special set of skills or qualities our heroes have and can’t cope with the situation.

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