It was Aristotle who said that every story should have a beginning, middle, and end.
What's fascinating about the writing process is that most writers I know have a weakness in one of those areas. You'd think the one would flow into the next, but some writers write brilliant beginnings only to flounder in the middle. Other writers can't write an ending unless you count ending the story, world, and all their characters with a massive, unexpected bomb.
I've been thinking about beginnings, middles, and ends since fellow blogger Mary at Resident Alien posted about her ending that wouldn't come together. I was sympathetic, but hardly empathetic. I couldn't get over Mary writing, "Beginnings always write themselves." First I sputtered, then I choked, then I ended up in a coughing fit. Later I may have cried. If only MY beginnings would write themselves (I blogged last fall about how much I hate beginnings).
Monday we talked about our strengths as writers. I especially found it interesting how some of you posted not only about your strengths, but why you had those strengths, given your childhood, your life experiences.
So to continue the conversation, what are your strengths when it comes to beginnings, middles, and ends? And do you have any idea why?
As I said, I struggle with beginnings, usually writing an entire novel before I have a clue how to begin it. But middles make sense to me, perhaps because I'm a fairly linear thinker. I used to work with a teacher who taught history through different themes, rather than in narrative order. It made my head spin! As for endings, I'm good at tying up themes and characters' arcs. Perhaps that comes from my English major background, being used to thinking in that big picture, critical analysis sort of way. Or maybe it just takes me some time to catch my stride.
What about you?
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