Critiquing for Maximum Benefit and Minimum Hurt Feelings–part 6 of 7, START AT THE BEGINNING AND QUIT AT THE END

I know. Your first reaction to the title of this blog post is:

duhLet me explain.The middle of a story is important—after all, that’s where everything happens. But the beginning and ending are even more critical. If the “bookends” of the story are lacking, the whole work is thrown awry. And so…

BEGINNINGS—ENDINGS CHECKLIST

  •  Does the beginning draw the reader in? Does the ending leave an interesting aftertaste that the reader will remember? Most of us spend a great deal of time writing the perfect opening, but don’t forget how important it is to elicit emotion from the reader at the end of  the story.
  • Does the story start at that perfect moment, when the life of the main character changes? Does it end with a hint of life after the story? While every climax needs a resolution, if that resolution goes on too long, it dilutes the impact of the climax.
  • By now you’ve probably figured out my basic point about beginnings and endings: they go together. So check to see if the beginning foreshadows the end and if the end fulfills the promise in the beginning. A story that somehow comes full circle is much more satisfying than one that sort-of kind-of peters out.

chew

Previous posts in this series:

Part the first

Part Number B

Part Trois

Part the Next

Part the One Before This One

Next week, we come to the end of this much-too-long-but-really-in-depth series on critiquing with: Tuning the Mechanics

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