High-concept storytelling in Gone 5: Revealing the big picture

Revealing the bigger picture, maybe

It's not funny

It's time to put the pieces together and reveal the big picture (if you haven't already worked it out yet).

The first part of this snippet suddenly raises the stakes.

The second part makes it personal.

“No way,” Quinn said, shaking his head. “Every adult and older kid in the whole school just disappears? That makes no sense.”

“It’s not just the school,” Astrid said.

“What?” Quinn snapped at her.

“The phones and the TV?” Astrid said.

“No, no, no, no, no,” Quinn said. He was shaking his head, half smiling, like he’d been told a bad joke.

“My mom,” Sam said.

“Man, stop this,” Quinn said. “All right? It’s not funny.”

GoneMichael GrantSource

Sam’s two word statement is the clincher. This is no longer a weird mystery - adults he cares about could have disappeared. Quinn’s emotional responses threaded through this part increases the dread. 

Can you find the same pattern in these examples?

“How can it be,” Eve said, rapidly clicking the torch’s switch, “that the lights are off, the phones are off, this torch won’t work, but the music is still playing and I can hear things beeping everywhere? That’s stupid!”

“Maybe it’s not the power. Maybe it’s us,” Heidi said.

“What?” Eve blurted.

“Apart from the fact that things are black, everything works,” Heidi added, simply.

“We’re... blind?” Noah asked.

“B-but that’s stupid,” Eve floundered, her voice nervously rising. “We can’t be… that would be…”

“It’s like Jurassic Park,” Bronwyn said as they watched a brontosaurus walk through the overhead power lines on the edge of the park. “Someone’s been experimenting with dinosaur DNA and now they’re on the loose.”

“It’s more than that,” said Hunter.

“Oh yeah? What is it then, nerd?” Bronwyn said.

Hunter pointed. “The plants are different. All those weird ferns. The humidity. The smell in the air. The whole atmosphere has changed.”

“What’s your point, Hunter?” snapped Bron. She was getting agitated, her fists balled up like she wanted to punch him for being difficult.

“We’ve gone prehistoric,” said Trixie.

“Cretaceous, to be precise,” Hunter said. “If you can be precise about a period that was 79 million years long.”

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