Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Wednesday's Writer's Tip - Orson Scott Card Beginnings and Endings
Once again I'm looking at How To Write Science Fiction and Fantasy by Orson Scott Card. Beginnings and Endings.
I'm one of those writers who needs to have a general idea of where a book will end before I begin. I'm also one of those writers who often begins the story in the wrong place. How about you? Do you have that kind of problem? The story I'm writing now has a prologue. I'm not a fan of prologues because often they tell too much or confuse me into not knowing who the characters are in the story? Sometimes they are involved in explaining the world the reader is about to enter.
Scott Orson Cord starts about the myth of the story or what happens and why. This is usually simple and starts long before the story begins and continues after the story ends. Sort of like this. In the past an event occurred causing a person or persons to act in a specific way and this brings on the situation or event that opens the story. The results of this long ago event may continue to influence happenings after the story ends. The writer has to pick a point along this line to start the story and one to end the story. This will give the structure of the story. The triggering event is known to the author but may not be revealed to the reader until near the end of the story. That depends on the structure of the story
The opening of a story creates tension and brings a need to know in the reader. The ending is the moment the the tension ends bringing satisfaction to the reader. Sometimes the writer begins too soon into the story and sometimes too late. Then the tension isn't present. There are times when a writer continues the story after the point where the ending should have been. So the writer must decide on the structure of the story.
Next week, I'll look at what Orson Scott Card looks on as the story structures and how they can help make a story grip the readers and keep them turning the pages.