#TheWriteWay Blog Post 18 - Where to Start AND End a Story!
Hi everyone, and welcome to the last #TheWriteWay blog post of February 2021!
Behind the scenes, my agent and I are working on some exciting things. There has been a new exciting development, too! I hope it's good news, so please, send me all the good vibes! :D I hope I can share the details soon!!
Anyway, moving on to the blog post. I was going to write a separate one for where to start and end your story, but then I said heck, let's just combine it!
Where Should I Start My Story?
I like to start my stories in the action! A boring first page won't earn you any readers. Depending on what genre you're writing, it could start anywhere -- a car chase, a magical battle, a spaceship, etc. If you're writing mystery, get to the crime/murder right away. Just show the reader that the stakes are high in the book!
It's time to set the mood! Where does it take place? Creepy castle? A school? Immerse your readers in the environment for the tone of the book.
Point of View
Before writing, you need to ask yourself who's telling the story. First person? Third person? Or the uncommon second person? If first person, what is their personality and manner of speaking? Remember to mix dialogue in with action. You don't want too much of one or the other.
Get Those Characters Introduced
With the point before it, make sure your main characters -- maybe even the villain -- are introduced within the first chapter. The readers need someone to relate to and root for!
The Opening Line
Your opening line or paragraph should be memorable. I've started off stories with "I didn't mean to kill him", "it all started with a stupid party", and so forth.
The beginning is very important. It sets the stage for the rest of the novel, and readers will know whether they want to continue with it or not based on the first few pages. Don't freak out -- you can always come back and edit it once the first draft is finished.
My best advice for the opening? Have fun with it and go wild!
Now, moving on to how to end a novel...
Tie Everything Up
No matter what genre, there should be no loose ends here. Writing a mystery? The main character should expose the criminal and show how they caught them. Writing fantasy? The big battle or build-up must happen. Everything that happened in your book should feel resolved -- even if you're building up to a second novel. You can include a happy ever after ending or a surprise twist, too, as long as it makes sense and comes together right.
Show Your Character Progression
It's important to show how your characters have grown and what they've learned over the course of the novel. Maybe a shy character gains confidence. Maybe a couple gets over their fight and gets their happy ending. Whatever it is, don't forget about your character development!
Things like 'it was all a dream' or miraculous, impossible rescues will turn your reader off. You want your ending to be satisfied and practical, not a total cliche!
Remember Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How
If all else fails, ensure you've answered the questions of the 5 W's and one H. Who are the character? What did they want? Where does the story end? When did it all happen? Why did it happen? How did it happen? Keep all that in mind as you write the ending.
For both starting and ending your novel, I recommend reading as many novels as you can see. See how other authors do it and follow suit. Reading is a must for every author -- no matter the genre!
I hope this helped! Good luck starting and finishing your book, #writingcommunity. You got this!
How do you start and finish a book? Let me know -- I'm eager to hear it!
Thanks for reading,