Guide to identifying your story idea and focus statement
When putting together your story idea and focus statement we want you to:
Write down the main CHARACTER(S) in your story. In your case these people will be real people not made up. Then, for this character (or characters), write down:
- what was the PROBLEM
- what was the GOAL (relative to the problem)
- what was at STAKE (be specific and descriptive)
- what (or who) were the OBSTACLES getting in the way.
- what were the ACTIONS that overcame these obstacles to realize the goal
- why is this an INNOVATION
Then, write the FOCUS STATEMENT for your story.
The table below uses the “farmer innovation story” to fill in the different categories.
|What was the PROBLEM||Depleted soil, low harvest|
|GOAL||Improved soil, improved harvest|
|STAKE||Family health, possible sickness, malnourishment, increased poverty|
|OBSTACLES||Tradition, Fear of change|
|ACTIONS||Year 1 intercrop ¼ field with cowpea, year 2 intercrop same way, year 3 intercrop whole field|
|Why this is an INNOVATION||The farmer heard on the radio about a farmer from another country planting beans between rows of corn. He decided to see if using cowpeas would yield the same results. He experimented with cowpeas over a period of time and found that they do in fact improve soil fertility.|
|The FOCUS STATEMENT||A poor farmer finds a way to improve the fertility of his soil, which increases the yield of his crops.|