Once upon a time, two brothers who lived on neighboring farms fell into conflict. It was the first serious disagreement in forty years of farming side by side, sharing machinery, and trading labor and goods as needed without a hitch. Then the long cooperation fell apart. It began with a small misunderstanding and then grew into a major difference, and finally it exploded into an exchange of bitter words followed by weeks of silence.
One morning, there was a knock on John's door. He opened it to find a man with a carpenter's toolbox. "I'm looking for a few days' work," he said. "Perhaps you have a few jobs here and there. Could I help you?" "Yes," said John. "I do have a job for you. Look across the small Creek at that farm. That's my neighbor. In fact, it's my younger brother. Last week there was a meadow between us and he took his bulldozer （推土机） there and now there is a creek between us. Well, he may have done this to annoy me but I'll do better. See that pile of wood by the barn （谷仓）? I want you to build a fence—an 8-foot-high fence-so I won't need to see his place anymore."
The carpenter said, "I think I understand the situation. Show me the nails and hole-digger and I'll be able to do a job that pleases you." The older brother had to go to the town for supplies, so he helped the carpenter get everything ready and then he left.
The carpenter worked hard all that day measuring, sawing and nailing. At sunset when John returned, the carpenter had just finished his job. John's eyes opened wide,. his jaw dropped.
There was no fence at all. It was a bridge!
They turned to see the carpenter lift the toolbox onto his shoulder.
如何续写这篇故事呢？首先，我们来分析这篇故事的情节（plot): 1. Setting (故事发生的地点和时间)： This story took place on neighboring farms once a upon time. 2. Characterization (人物): John is a protagonist (主角); his younger brother is an antagonist (对手); the carpenter is a minor character (配角). 3. Conflict: (故事的矛盾)John doe not get along with his younger brother. The evidence is “It began with a small misunderstanding and then grew into a major difference, and finally it exploded into an exchange of bitter words followed by weeks of silence.” 4. Rising Action (矛盾激化: 主要细节): “Last week there was a meadow between us and he took his bulldozer （推土机） there and now there is a creek between us.” and “I want you to build a fence—an 8-foot-high fence-so I won't need to see his place anymore." 5. Climax (故事转折点): “There was no fence at all. It was a bridge!” 6. Falling Action(矛盾趋于解决: 重要细节): 这部分是要求学生来完成的。根据故事的发展，故事转折点（climax）是那个木匠不但没有建八英尺的篱笆反而在隔离的小溪上建了一座桥。下面要续写通向结果的细节（falling action),有两种可能：一种可能两兄弟因为这种桥而合好了，他们非常感谢那位木匠。他们看到木匠扛着工具箱，可能是要走，他们一定努力挽留他，但是他还是走了。另一种可能是兄弟俩矛盾太深，无法一时解决，John抱怨木匠没有按自己的要求做，木匠一气之下扛着工具箱走了。所以，这里，我建议一定要加上抬头（Title）：” Mending Conflict“，这样就把第二种可能性排除了. 好了，我们知道第一种可能是正确的，那么，当我们写续时，仍然要包括人物(John, his younger brother and the carpenter)，地点 (the creek between the two brothers’ farms)和主线 ( John told the carpenter to build a 8-foot fence, which could physically separate him from his younger brother, but the carpenter built a bridge over the creek instead of a high fence.) , 然后，我们根据故事的标题“Mending Conflict” 可以判断这个故事有个好结尾，那么就续写通向这个结尾的细节:
There was no fence there at all. It was a bridge… a bridge stretching from one side of the creek to the other! A fine piece of work handrails and all – and the neighbor, his younger brother, was coming across, his hand outstretched. “You are quite a fellow to build this bridge after all I’ve said and done.” The two brothers stood at each end of the bridge, and then they met in the middle, taking each other’s hand. Suddenly, they realized that they should appreciate how hard the carpenter worked on the bridge for their reconciliation.
They turned to see the carpenter lift the toolbox onto his shoulder. He was about to leave. “No, wait! Stay a few days. I’ve a lot of other projects for you,” said the older brother. 7. Resolution (故事结尾): The carpenter kept silence for a while and then said, “I’d love to stay on, but I have many more bridges to build.” Watching the carpenter leaving, the two brothers waved grateful good-bye to him. 8. Reflection(反思): What a thought-provoking story! Every day we have the choice of building a fence or a bridge. One leads to separation and anger while the other leads to openness and friendship.
按照七个步骤分析故事发展的情节(analyze the course of a story development) ，掌握作者的意图 (understand why the author writes this story)，保持上下文一致 (coherent) ，意识到读者的存在 (be aware of audience), 反思所学内容 (apply what you learned from this story to your life) ,满足考题的要求(meet the testing requirements) 就能拿高分。