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Story Activities

20.2 Idea Generation: Mapping an Autobiography

This exercise will help you develop a variety of options for your story, considered especially in the context of your entire life trajectory.

First, brainstorm at least ten moments or experiences that you consider influential— moments that in some way impacted your identity, your friendships, and your worldview— for the better or for the worse. Record them and then, rate those experiences on a degree of “awesomeness,” “pleasurably,” or something else along those lines, on a scale of 0 – 10, with 10 being the hands down best moment of your life and 0 being the worst.
Next, plot those events on the graph paper on the back of this page. Each point is an event; the x-axis is your age, and the y-axis is the factor of positivity. Connect the points with a line.

Finally, circle three of the events/experiences on your graph. On a clean sheet of paper, free-write about each of those three for at least four minutes. (Abrams based this activity on one from Lily Harris.)

blank graph paper

 

 

License

Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Expression and Inquiry by Chris Manning, Sally Pierce, and Melissa Lucken is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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