"A cat has absolute emotional honesty: human beings, for one reason or another, may hide their feelings but a cat does not." -Ernest Hemingway

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Act One: How can it help me write the end of my story?

The last time we met I talked about creating a road map to help you along in your journey on becoming an author (click here) I hope you took some time to really think about what drives you to write and, hopefully, wrote it down.  This week we’re going to break down the story structure I talked about and does it really matter if you start from the beginning or the end of your story when sitting down to write? 

Let’s explore:

First, let’s begin by looking into the first element of Act One, the hook.  As all writers know, and if you don’t know I suggest you listen up, you need to establish an opening no longer than a paragraph to hook your reader, or for that matter, an editor.  You have to make them want to know more about your protagonist and what their story has to tell.  Let’s face it, if your main character has nothing to tell why read what they have to say? 

So what does the hook of your story have to do with the ending?  The answer lies in the second element of Act One, the backstory.  This is where all the juicy details of why your protagonist struggles and or anguishes over something are revealed.  Simply stated, what is it that your main character has to overcome in order to win in the end?  I sometimes find at this point in my plotting, or writing, it is very easy to write the ending of my story.  Then it is a matter of hooking the beginning up with the ending. (No pun intended) 

After formulating all the above I find the third element in Act One, the trigger, to be a breeze to write.  For knowing where my story begins, what drives my protagonist crazy and what needs to happen in the end to win reveals what sets everything into motion.  It’s no different than our own lives, (click here) to see what triggered the start of my writing career) what event in your life set something into motion that changed your life forever?  Do you have any techniques you’ve developed that help you discover the end of your story before you start?  Do you spend time plotting the course of your protagonist’s life?  If so, I’d love to hear about it.
Next I’m going to take a break from talking about the structure of writing and have you follow me, The Unknown Author, along on their first journey as a NaNoWrimo participant.  If you’ve never heard about NaNoWrimo, click here) to learn more.  

Until next time,

Keep on striving, keep on thriving and keep on writing!

T.K. Millin
The Unknown Author

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