2023 DSE English Paper 1
2023 DSE 如期開考，打頭陣的正式英文科。
Flash Fiction: Writing a Story in 1,000 Words or Less
1  People have been enjoying stories for as long as humanity has been around. Some people love to read 400-page novels, while others struggle to read the first four paragraphs. More and more, technology has unfortunately resulted in many people having shorter attention spans. Therefore, writers have to find new ways to tell stories in a way that appeals to people who are used to reading snippets of information on the small screen of their smart 5 phones. Flash fiction is a medium that works perfectly in a low-attention-span world.
What is Flash Fiction?
 Flash fiction is a category of short story that limits the author to a word count of 1,000 words or less. Some magazines limit flash fiction stories to as little as 300 words.
How to Write Flash Fiction
10  Following the tips below will guide you in writing a solid flash fiction story.
Focus on One Character
 With a limit of 1,000 words, there isn’t a lot of room for character development, so you’ll want to pick one character to focus on. There will likely be two characters in the story because you’ll often use a human antagonist as opposition to your main character. You might be able to use three characters, but any more than that will 15 probably be overkill in the realm of flash fiction.
Focus on One Scene
 Longer story forms have a beginning, middle, and end, but with flash fiction, you’re really telling only the end of a story. Of course, you won’t be able to flesh out a complex story world. Instead, your flash fiction story should focus on one scene, one moment in the life of your character. It needs to be a significant, life-altering moment for 20 your character. Focusing on one scene also means focusing on one location. So for flash fiction your limited word count focuses on the essentials to the story.
Focus on One Conflict
 All stories are about conflict. A story can be easily defined as a character who wants or needs something and has to overcome some obstacle in order to attain it. The obstacle is the conflict. You have to answer two very 25 important questions to write a really good flash fiction story:
- What does your main character want?
- Who or what is trying to stop your main character from getting it?
Focus on One Theme
 Your theme is the moral argument of your story. It’s about how you want your readers to be impacted by the 30 What do you want them to be encouraged to do, be, or believe as a result of reading your story?
Focus on Word Choice
 You only have up to 1,000 words to tell your story, so you have to choose those words wisely. When you know what actions and ideas you want to communicate, choose the least amount of words to communicate them.
How Flash Fiction Makes You a Better Writer
35  Flash fiction forces you to be economical with your words. It helps you to focus your ideas and strip away anything that isn’t essential to your story. Often, when you’re writing flash fiction, you’ll write more than you need. When you go back through, you’ll see what needs to be there, what can be taken out, and what needs to be reworked, which helps you to develop your editing and revising skills.
Flash Fiction Example
40 The Big Bang
 BOOOOOOOOMMMM! ! !! Timothy’s eyes nearly popped out of his head. 1–1is face was blackened with soot and his hair stood on end. He looked down at what remained of the school laboratory bench and saw smouldering wood and shattered glass. Shocked faces gazed up at him.
 A month ago, it had all started fairly well. It was nearly the end of Chemistry and Timothy was drifting in a 45 pleasant doze with his head rested upon Super Science Experiments for Eager Youngsters, whilst Professor Snookhorn droned on. “So, if anyone is interested, raise your hand now . .. how about you Timothy?” “Eh? Ermmm — sure,” mumbled Timothy with not the faintest idea of what he had been asked. “Marvellous!” replied an enthused Professor Snookhorn, fixing him with a steely gaze through his thick glasses. “Meet me in Lab 922 after school today and we’ll get started.” The bell clanged and the students crashed out ofthe classroom like a herd of elephants.
50 Billy Brenton, class thug, barged past Timothy muttering “Swotty boy – volunteering for Young Scientist of the Year – urghh!” “Arggghhhh!” thought Timothy, but it was too late.
 Four weeks and 25 excruciating extra Chemistry lessons later, Timothy was blinking out nervously at a gaggle of eager science teachers and pushy parents, crammed into the National School of Science Laboratory for what Professor Snookhorn enthusiastically described as “The pinnacle of my teaching career” (no pressure).
55  Professor Snookhorn was a superlative scientist but little did he know that Timothy was a bigger hazard than sulphuric acid when it came to Chemistry. He had mistaken Timothy’s glazed expression for wide-eyed enthusiasm in class. Timothy looked down at the glistening bench, taking in the jewel-coloured containers of liquids and crystals, without a clue of what they were or how to use them.
 A klaxon blared. Timothy’s competitors scurried around like a pack of lab rats. Timothy had not bothered 60 reading the competition rules, but jerked into action, picking random coloured bottles up and mixing the contents in a large glass container which appeared to have been placed on the bench in front of him for that purpose.
 A smell like Billy Brenton’s worst ever fart began to fill the air and Timothy looked down in alarm at his bench. Thick grey smoke filled Timothy’s nostrils. The glass container into which he had poured his random mix shuddered and shook. The pushy parents started to point. The science teachers went pale. Timothy gulped.
65 BOOOOOOOOMMMM! !
 As the smoke cleared, the science teachers began to clap and a tear of pride trickled down Professor Snookhorn’s cheek. A voice boomed: “Ladies and gentlemen I give you the winner of this year’s Young Scientist ofthe Year – The Biggest Bang: TIMOTHY TRENTON!”
- Complete the following summary of paragraph 1 by choosing the best option from the choices below. (3 marks)
Stories are (i) _____ the human race and have been enjoyed throughout history. Yet some find it (ii) _____ to even get through the first few paragraphs of a story so flash fiction is (iii) _____ for many of today’s readers.
A. as big as
B. as old as
C. as long as
D. as difficult as
A. a big challenge
B. a confusing idea
C. an ideal solution
D. an excellent puzzle
- Which word in paragraph 1 is used to show that the writer is disappointed or unhappy with people’s reading habits?
- From paragraph 1, what has changed so that writers have to look for different methods to tell stories?
- From paragraph 1, find a word which means things that are brief and concise.
- Find a word in paragraphs 2, 3 or 4 which shares a similar meaning with each word or phrase listed below. (3 marks)
- too much of something
- Below is the summary of paragraph 4. There is ONE mistake in four of the following lines. If you find a mistake, underline it and replace it with one that could express the correct idea. Write the word in the box on the right. The answer should be spelt correctly and grammatically correct. There is one line that has no mistake: put a tick (√) in the corresponding box. The first one has been done for you as an example. (5 marks)
e.g., You should have the main focus on only one sentence in the story
(i) Yet, flash fiction always has another character who supports
(ii) the main character. So the story will probably have two characters.
(iii) There is no opportunity that you will be able to incorporate three
(iv) characters into your story. However, unless you feel the need to have any
(v) more than this, your theme will be too long, i.e. more than 100 words
- Complete the notes below about paragraph 5 by choosing ONE word from the paragraph in each blank. (4 marks)
The (i) __________ length of flash fiction helps create a focus on the main features of the story.
Longer Story Forms
– These stories have three main areas. The author can develop a more __________ environment for the story.
– The (iii) __________ part of the typical story structure provides the emphasis of flash fiction.
– It has a simpler structure that looks at a single (iv) __________, and this must be a crucial event for the character in the story.
- What does ‘it’ (line 27) refer to?
- Having a ‘moral argument’ (line 29) helps…
A. end the story quickly.
B. encourage the reader to read longer stories.
C. prevent the characters from doing anything.
D. affect the reader’s response to the story.
- What does ‘you go back through’ (line 37) mean?
- Which of the following is NOT a benefit of writing flash fiction mentioned in paragraph 9?
A. ability to write more
B. more efficient use of words
C. clearer focus on the key elements of the story
D. better ability to remove unimportant material
- Find a phrase that means that Timothy was very surprised in paragraph 10.
- Whose faces are referred to in line 43 when the author says ‘Shocked faces gazed’?
- Complete the following summary of paragraph 11. Use only ONE word from the paragraph for each blank. (4 marks)
It all began during (i) ________ when Timothy wasn’t paying attention. Professor Snookhorn asked for volunteers and Timothy (ii) ________ a reply: Although Professor Snookhorn was (iii) ________ he glared at Timothy as he gave him his instructions. After the sound of the
bell ended the lesson, the (iv) ________ Billy Brenton, teased Timothy.
- What did Timothy think was ‘too late’ to do in line 51?
- According to paragraphs 12 and 13, determine whether the following statements are True (T), False (F) or Not Given (NG). (4 marks)
- Timothy enjoyed preparing for the competition.
- Professor Snookhorn told Timothy that the hazards in a chemistry laboratory.
- It was very hard to find a place for any more parents and teachers to watch the competition.
- Timothy did not know what to do with the materials he had been given.
- ‘Timothy looked down in alarm’ (line 62). What surprised him?
- What is the cause of the ‘BOOOOOOOOMMMM!!!!’ (line 65)
The explosion was caused when Timothy ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
- Professor Snookhorn had ‘a tear of pride’ (line 66). What made him so proud?
- Below is a timeline of some of the events experienced by Timothy extracted from paragraphs 10-16. Arrange them in chronological order. Use each letter ONCE only. Two options will NOT be used.
A. Timothy caused an explosion
B. Timothy slept
C. Timothy cried
D. Timothy ‘volunteered’
E. Timothy made Professor Snookhorn angry
- Is the story The Big Bang a good example of flash fiction? Put a tick (√) in the appropriate box below. (2 marks)
A good example of flash fiction
A bad example of flash fiction
By referring to the ‘How to’ section, provide any TWO pieces of evidence from the story to support your answer
- Evidence 1:
- Evidence 2:
- Below are some comments made by some of the people in the story The Big Bang. Match each person or group of people with ONE comment. Each letter can only be used ONCE only. One letter is NOT used. One has been done for you as an example. (3 marks)
D. Billy Nrenton
E. Professor Snookhrn
He is such a teacher’s pet.
He did it… I’m thrilled for both of us.
He is amazing – what an explosion!
He has no idea that I’m clueless about this
1 [I] In a special personal essay, excerpted here, in honor ofMother’s Day, Michelle Obama shares memories ofher mom, Marian Robinson, and women who shaped the extraordinary life of an ordinary girl from Chicago who would grow up to be the wife ofthe President ofthe United States.
 My mother is a woman who chooses her words carefully. She’ll sometimes speak in clipped sentences, her 5 wisdom packed into short bursts and punctuated with an infectious smile or a wry laugh. It’s a style that makes her a favorite of everyone she meets — a sweet, witty companion who doesn’t need the limelight.
 As I’ve grown older, I’ve seen how her manner in conversation also reflects her approach to parenting. Because when it came to raising her kids, my mom knew that her voice was less important than allowing me to use my own.
 That meant she listened a lot more than she lectured. Growing up, she was willing to endure endless questioning 10 from me — Why did we have to eat eggs for breakfast? Why do people need jobs? Why are the houses bigger in other neighborhoods? She didn’t chide me if I scrapped with some of the neighbor kids or challenged my ornery grandfather when I thought he was being a little too ornery. She listened intently to the lunchtime conversations I had with my schoolmates over bologna sandwiches, and nodded patiently along to tales of my contentious piano lessons with my great-aunt Robbie.
15  In today’s world, it’s easy to hear all that and think that Marian Robinson was bordering on negligent, that she was letting the kids rule the roost. But the reality was far from that. She and my father, Fraser, were wholly invested in their children, pouring a deep and durable foundation of goodness and honesty, of right and wrong, into my brother and me. After that, they simply let us be ourselves.
 I see now how important that kind of freedom is for all children, particularly for girls with flames of their own — 20 flames the world might try to dim. It’s up to us, as mothers and mother-figures, to give the girls in our lives the kind of support that keeps their flame lit and lifts up their voices — not necessarily with our own words, but by letting them find the words themselves.
 Below is an excerptfrom Michelle Obama ‘s bestselling memoir, Becoming, in which she recalls how her greataunt Robbie ‘s tough love andpiano lessons helped shape the woman she is today:
25  At home, I continued to work on my own progress as a musician. Sitting at Robbie’s upright piano, I was quick to pick up the scales and I threw myself into filling out the sight-reading worksheets she gave me. Because we didn’t have a piano of our own, I had to do my practicing downstairs on hers. I learned one song in the piano book and then another. I was probably no better than her other students, no less fumbling, but I was driven. To me, there was magic in the learning. I got a buzzy sort of satisfaction from it. For one thing, I’d picked up on the simple, 30 encouraging correlation between how long I practiced and how much I achieved. And I sensed something in Robbie as well — too deeply buried to be an outright pleasure, but still, a pulse of something lighter and happier coming from her when I made it through a song without messing up. I’d notice it out of the corner of my eye: Robbie’s lips would unpurse themselves just slightly.
 This, it turns out, was our honeymoon phase. It’s possible that we might have continued this way, Robbie and I, 35 had I been less curious and more reverent when it came to her piano method. But the lesson book was thick enough and my progress on the opening few songs slow enough that I got impatient and started peeking ahead — and not just a few pages ahead but deep into the book, checking out the titles of the more advanced songs and beginning, during my practice sessions, to fiddle around with playing them. When I proudly debuted one of my late-in-thebook songs for Robbie, she exploded, slapping down my achievement with a vicious “Good night!” I got chewed 40 out the way I’d heard her chewing out plenty of students before me. All I’d done was try to learn more and faster, but for Robbie it was a crime approaching treason. She wasn’t impressed, not even a little bit.
 Nor was I chastened. I was the kind of kid who liked concrete answers to my questions, who liked to reason things out to some logical if exhausting end. I was lawyerly and also veered toward dictatorial, as my brother Craig, who often got ordered out of our shared play area, would attest. When I thought I had a good idea about something,
45 I didn’t like being told no. Which is how my great-aunt and I ended up in each other’s faces, both of us hot and unyielding.
 “How could you be mad at me for wanting to learn a new song?”
“You’re not ready for it. That’s not how you learn piano.”
“But I am ready. I just played it.”
50 “That’s not how it’s done.”
 Piano lessons became epic and trying, largely due to my refusal to follow the prescribed method and Robbie’s refusal to see anything good in my freewheeling approach to her songbook. We went back and forth, week after week. I was stubborn and so was she. I had a point of view and she did, too. In between disputes, I continued to 55 play the piano and she continued to listen, offering a stream of corrections. I gave her little credit for my improvement as a player. She gave me little credit for improving. But still, the lessons went on.
 Upstairs, my parents and Craig found it all so very funny. They cracked up at the dinner table as I recounted my battles with Robbie, still seething as I ate my spaghetti and meatballs. My parents expressed no sympathy for my woes and none for Robbie’s, either. In general, they weren’t ones to intervene in matters outside schooling, 60 expecting early on that my brother and I should handle our own business. They seemed to view their job as mostly to listen and bolster us as needed inside the four walls of our home. And where another parent might have scolded a kid for being sassy with an elder as I had been, they also let that be. My mother had lived with Robbie on-and-off since she was about sixteen, following every arcane rule the woman laid down, and it’s possible she was secretly happy to see Robbie’s authority challenged. Looking back on it now, I think my parents appreciated my feistiness 65 and I’m glad for it. It was a flame inside me they wanted to keep lit.
46. From paragraph 1, what connection do Michelle Obama’s personal essay and Mother’s Day have?
The essay __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
47. Using the information in paragraph 1, pick ONE word to finish the following statement.
Shaped by women in her life, Michelle rose from __________________ beginnings.
48. According to paragraph 2, which of the following statement cannot indicate the way Michelle’s mother speaks?
A. in short sentences
B. chatty and talkative
C. with good judgement
D. deliberate in word choice
49. According to paragraphs 2-4, suggest how Michelle’s mother would react in the following situations. (2 marks)
Her mother’s reaction
Meeting someone new at a party
Hearing her children complaining about friends cheating at a game
50. Michelle includes a list of questions in lines 10-11, what is the purpose of it?
A. to highlight her questioning skills
B. to suggest her questions were trivial
C. to emphasise her constant questions
D. to explain why she asked the questions
51. What does ‘all that’ (line 15) refer to?
A. Marian’s parenting style
B. piano lessons with Robbie
C. conversations with schoolmates
D. Michelle’s way of expressing herself
52. From paragraph 5, decide whether the following statements are True (T), False (F) or Not Given (NG).
(i) Michelle’s parents spent a bunch of money raising their children
(ii) Michelle’s parents tried to control their children’s actions directly.
(iii) Michelle’s parents were committed to developing the moral values of their children.
53. According to paragraphs 4-6, find suitable examples to complete the table below. (4 marks)
Example from the text
A. A fight or argument
B. A parenting lesson
C. A misunderstanding
D. An appeal to others
54. Explain, with reference to line 30, what made the correlation ‘encouraging’ for Michelle.
55. According to paragraph 8, answer the following questions. (2 marks)
(i) What was ‘deeply buried’ (line 31)?
(ii) How Robbie expressed this?
56. How did Michelle contribute to the ‘honeymoon phase’ (line 34)?
57. Which of the following is NOT a reason given by Michelle to explain the end of the ‘honeymoon phase’ (line 34)?
A. Michelle was inquisitive.
B. Michelle seemed to make limited progress.
C. Robbiew believed Michelle had great talent.
D. Robbie’s teaching style didn’t suit Michelle
58. Was Michelles’ debut of one of the ‘late-in-the-book songs’ (line 38-39) a success or failure? Give ONE reason to explain your answer with reference to paragraph 9.
59. Find a metaphor for ‘disobedience’ Michelle uses in paragraph 9.
60. Explain, when Michelle says ‘Nor was I chastened’ (line 42), her frustration.
61. From the text, what does the phrase ‘hot and unyielding’ (line 45-46) suggest about Michelle’s and her great-aunt’s personality?
62. Which of the following statement is NOT exhibited by Michelle in paragraph 10?
A. rejecting someone’s ideas
B. understanding her own failures
C. forcing someone to change their mind
D. behaving aggressively in confrontation
63. According to paragraph 11, identify a characteristic of Michelle’s personality and explain how paragraph 11 illustrates it.
64. According to paragraph 13, what was Michelle feeling ‘at the dinner table’ and why?
65. With reference to the information in paragraph 12, complete the summary by writing ONE word in each blank below. Make sure the answers are grammatically correct. (5 marks)
Michelle had little faith in her great-aunt’s approach, and Robbie (i) __________ to acknowledge Michelle’s carefree attitude. However, the lessons continued with a constant toing and froing, with Robbie firing off endless (ii) __________ at her. At the same time, Michelle was (iii) __________ to do things her own way, refusing to (iv) _________ her great-aunt’s wishes. The situation became a somewhat irritating sage to be endured, with neither of them (v) __________ the other’s endeavours.
66. Based on the text, Michelle’s parents ‘expressed no sympathy’ (line 58) for neither Michelle nor Robbie. Give TWO reasons why Michelle’s parents took the same approach for both Michelle and Robbie (2 marks)
67. According to the text, find two examples of Michelle ‘being sassy with an elder’ (line 62).
(i) Example 1:
(ii) Example 2:
68. Below are some summary headings for each paragraph of the excerpt from Michelle’s memoir. Match the most appropriate one with each paragraph by writing the letters (A-G) in the table below. Each letter can only be used ONCE only. Please be noted that one summary heading will NOT be used. One has been done for you as an example. (5 marks)
A. Parental pride
B. Life, parenting and Robbie
C. Joy of learning
D. My character and conflict
E. The mood shifts
F. Enduring the other
G. Wanting to understand
69. According to the text, how can parents keep girls’ flames lit?
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