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10/15/08
Abstract Thoughts, Part 2
Filed under: GRANT WRITING
Posted by: Jon @ 12:32 pm

According to one of the forefathers of modern acting, Russian actor and director Constanin Stanislavski, an actor/actress in order to develop continuity in a part needs to find the super objective — or the through line — of a character. That is, what motivates or drives the character during the course of a play? If a tangible goal can be established that the character strives for, than that becomes the single overriding action that all that character’s individual actions serve. Every decision that character makes, and every action the character takes, becomes a through line to achieving the super objective.

For example, a character’s quest in a sports story might be to prove to others that he is not a bum, that he has the grit and guts it takes to be a champion. The through line to every scene is about him overcoming the obstacles and conflict to prove that to himself and others.

Your program and proposal needs a Through Line as well. That is, the super objective your organization wants to achieve. A single overriding quest that every activity, every staff hired, every assessment, every partner, serves.

Let’s use a literacy program as an example. You may introduce the phrase “…empowering the parent/s to become their child’s second teacher…” Well then, that super objective becomes the reason for all activities within that program. Another Through Line might be, “1,000 children, 10,000 books…” meaning that each child and their parents will read 10 books over the course of a year. Then every activity within the program will help achieve the 1/10,000 goal.

Don’t make the reader/scorer guess what your Through Line is. Spell it out for them as soon as possible in the abstract. Having this overall glimpse of where you intend to go with the program will help the reader/scorer fit all the various pieces of your program into place. This Through Line — like those examples above — should be first introduced in the abstract and then resonate throughout your proposal.

More about this can be found in my new book, RIGHT BEFORE YOU WRITE (www.SandyPointInk.com)

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