This week: Start the Story with an EndingEdited by: Dawn Embers
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A Fantasy Newsletter by Dawn
Stories have to start some where and in a number of cases, things start when something ends for the characters. We look at the possibility of having the start be an ending.
It's a new year and time for my first fantasy ramble, I mean newsletter of the year. With many topic options as I did a couple of prompts about endings and beginnings, I started to think about how the beginning of the story can be along with a little bit of writing advice I've heard over the years.
There are many who suggest that one way to start writing is to go to the end of the novel first. However, this isn't about writing the last paragraphs or even the ending of a novel before anything else. Nope. Instead, I want to talk about how the beginning of the story and main conflict might involve an ending in some way or another. Obviously not the end of the story, though on the rare occasion one can pull off having the actual end first followed by showing how the character got to that point but not very often. However, it is common for something big to change in the beginning for the point of view character and/or others. That can include having something end for them.
On place I've seen this is in epic fantasy. During the very beginning as we're just getting to know the main character, they experience a change in their status quo. This causes the need for action so that we can have a story develop. If things just stayed the same, nothing really happened, most of the time that wouldn't be a story that we want to read about let alone for hundreds of pages.
What happens can be something small to spark that shift into a different section of their lives or it can be big. Letters signifying a need to leave have been used, for example, and depending on the home setting the level of change that creates can vary. Or it can be an attack or battle that destroys the home and puts the character in a position where they can't stay anymore. Common for quest stories, there has to be that moment that gives motivation to act.
However, romance subplots can have endings near the beginning as well. Looking at series of stories in particular, things aren't always going to be easy and there might be times when the one couple aren't meant to be together. Or even we just see the end of a relationship as maybe that is the cause for things to change, pushing the character in a different direction.
The basic point boils down to the fact that a story has to start some where. It's a new year, we're at a start right after experiencing an end. Let's get some stories started too. Try having something big end for the main point of view, then if you feel like having a little fun, go write the end of the story before you do the middle, just to see how that turns out. Or write a story backwards from ending to beginning, that would be different. Either way, let's get writing beginnings and endings.
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Do you have a story that starts with an ending? What ends for the character(s)?
Last month I discussed my opinions on a movie and how useful it can be for character and world building. Here are the two comments sent in over the topic and movie:
Comment by Elfin Dragon - contest hunting
I'm fascinated by the world Rowling created. I have to admit that I have every movie and all the books, including the "not" Harry Potter books which are related to that specific world. They are inspiring to read and get information from as a writer. I haven't seen the "Fantastic Beasts" movie yet but am champing at the bit to do so.
Comment by Quick-Quill
I read all but the play. I love her characters, her not just their make up but their "Character." In Magical Beasts I loved the suitcase and the creatures. I'm not enamored with the person who chose the actors in most of the cases, but they opened up a whole possible series. My friend is writing a series of novels based on an American magical group similar to the one in the movie. Who knew?
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