Monthly Archives: February 2012

7 Beats of a Sexy Grant Narrative

  1. The Hook

The establishment of the needs which creates conflict, empathy, and a deep desire to help in the reader.

A woman parks her car, gets out, and walks down the worn wooden steps to the beach where removes her shoes and ambles to the water line where waves are crashing onto the rocky shore.

2. Inciting Incident

This is the part of the needs where the writer shows how the need is unmet by using numbers to define the extent of the needs.

The lonely lover wanders the beach throwing stones into the surf and wondering what went wrong in her life. Suddenly, she is swept off the beach and away from shore by a rogue wave. She’s sucked under in the foamy surf and comes back up choking and calling for help.

3. The Turning Point

Fortunately for the reader, you are providing the answer to the needs. You offer a goal and objectives to resolve it.

The woman founders in the water while a tanned and shirtless grant writer drives a speed boat, flying over the waves, locks of auburn hair flying in the wind. He spies her arm desperately waving for help and he steers the boat towards her.

4. The Midpoint

There are more needs to be met than the grant budget can provide for, but fortunately, the writer has partnerships to talk about that bring additional resources to the rescue effort.

Suddenly, a shark fin appears near the woman, the man sees it but the woman doesn’t, he speeds up but he knows won’t get there before the shark does.

5. Second Turning Point

Now the writer has to pull out the secret weapon, current and valid research that supports the solution and assures the resolution of the needs.

The hero now stops the boat and pulls out a high powered rifle to shoot the shark. He’s a former Navy Seal and expert marksman; the woman sees the gun and thinks he is aiming for her and ducks under the water out of sight, down where danger is waiting.

6. The Dark Moment

The grant narrative reaches the point at which the intervention is tested, the results are measured, evaluation is implemented.

Our hero knows he has time for one shot to save the woman, the shark fin is slicing ever lower into the water as the predator takes aim on the woman below the surface. The man’s taut forearms are steady as he stands on the bow cooly timing his shot with the rising of the hull, he squeezes the trigger as the fin disappears below the water, there’s a small splash behind the fin and a loud pop, then silence.

7. Joyful Resolution

The grant writer is confident about the plan in the narrative and it will certainly resolve the needs and require dissemination so that similar needs in similar places can be resolved.  The plans for expansion of the project can be described as funders flock to the effort.

Our hero restarts the speed boat and races toward the spot where the woman went under the waves. The water is red with blood. He dives over the side into the water and strokes strongly downward where he sees the woman struggling to reach the surface, the shark is far below her is spiraling into the deep marked by a crimson trail. They break the surface and they ride the wells to shore where they embrace like lovers and kiss deeply on the sand.

Romantic structure in a grant narrative can be sexy!

Structure is adapted from, “Writing the Romance Novel: The Seven Beats” by Kay Dacus.

Photo Credits – RACHEL GILMORE (Woman Watching)

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