Take the end of a film and use it as the starting point for a piece of writing.

Take the end of a film and use it as the starting point for a piece of writing.


This is and was, a task in the 2014 series of controlled assessments. There are many different ways you could approach this and some things to think about before you approach it. Some are listed below:

  1. Choosing the film could be the hardest thing you have to do here and could lead you somewhere you do not want to go to. For example, your favourite film might be one where there is an ambiguous ending, where the viewer [or reader in the novel] is unsure as to what happens next. Great Expectations, as a novel, ends this way. Pip and Estella walk off into the sunset, leaving us to guess what will come next. Your story could get bogged down without really careful planning. If Pip and Estella are to spend their lives together, then your story may be how they get to the happiness that is marriage for them. She is rich from her marriage to Drummle after all. Planning is vital here for it to make sense. Gibberish is not good in a GCSE story.
  2. Planning is vital for success. Hang on. Haven’t I written that already? Well yes I have, but how do you plan this? One way would be a mind map, or diagram of bubbled ideas, shooting off to other ideas linked in etc. Another will be the bullet pointed plan. To someone as logically minded as myself, this would appeal, for you can plan the story logically and at each turn know where to begin each paragraph. This can be done without planning, but I would not trust myself if the plan was not there.
  3. Characterization is important too! Using the Great Expectations example, from above, we already have 2 characters, so who is going to be included in our new story, to take the ending further? That is a decision that is yours and yours alone. I would not add more than 2 more to the existent list in the novel. 2 more ‘new’ characters would give the freedom to change direction. Will Pip and Estella adopt a child, as Miss Havisham did with her? That could be the starting, or end point of any story you write.
  4. Adventure is needed – in the story and in the writing. There is nothing worse for a teacher than marking 35 pieces of work, each 750 words long [you do the Maths here] and by the time you have got to number 23, you are in desperate need of caffeine by intravenous injection. And then, number 24 blows your pants off because it is adventurous in content and style. It has characters that are full, believable, understandable [the sort you say “I would do that too” to] and ultimately entertaining. Magwitch, in Great Expectations, explodes onto the reader’s mind early on and then is not seen for some time until the great reveal. Maybe, history could repeat itself in your story, where Pip and Estella travel to the lands where Abel Magwitch made his money, to take over from him where he left off before returning to England [although legally his estate would have been forfeited to the crown for being a returned convict]? The choice is yours, but by God, make it entertaining, or your teacher dies of boredom in a darkened room, all alone!

Go on, have a go. Think of a film with a duality or ambiguity at the ending. Then think logically what would happen next? What would I like to see happen next? And then write the thing, planning it first. You may even be surprised at how good it really is.