February 17, 2012

From Beginning To End

The stories of our lives begin the moment we are born, with our very first breath. Our childhoods and twenties are the beginning of our stories, and our thirties and forties are the middle of our stories. Our golden years make up the climax, and “the end” happens with our last breath.

Every day we live, we are writing our own secret book. And just like our lives, every story has a beginning, middle, and end.

The beginning of a book is obviously the beginning of the story. This is the time to introduce the characters (make the readers fall in love with them or hate them, depending on the character’s role). This is also the time to tell the reader what they must know to understand the story, such as the main character’s past.

The middle is where the reader knows all the characters and understands the story. This is the moment where the plot is building to the climax.

And the end is the grand finale where the story ends (happily, with tears, or with a shock!). Everything that has happened in the story now makes sense. You have brought the bad characters to their demise, and the main character has finally learned or conquered what he/she was set out to learn or conquer throughout the entire story. Or if you're writing a romance, the two main characters are finally and truly in love. The end is always the moment that the readers are waiting for with bated breath.

As soon as you get an idea for a story and have the fundamentals of your book down (genre, characters, setting, and tone) then it is time to feed that little spark and help it grow into a flame. Ponder your story idea. Listen to some music as you drink a cup of coffee. Heck, drink a glass of wine or a nice cold beer, and let the beginning and end of your story come to you. It will.

QUESTION: Have you read a book with a plot that kept you captivated from beginning to end?

Two books that I’ve read in the past year come to mind because I had practically devoured them. The first is “After the Night” by Linda Howard. This book has the steamiest romance scenes that I’ve ever read! It’s also very shocking! The second book is “Chill Factor” by Sandra Brown. Right from the beginning I was hooked. The suspense drove me nuts!

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