Prepared by: Florence Cardinal
Posted on: Sun, 3 Jun 2001
I've always found it adds a little
something extra to a
paragraph/article/story if you can bring it "full circle" by using
something from the beginning in the ending. For instance, if you start
the story with softly falling snowflakes, then maybe end it by
mentioning the snow again.
A story follows a certain pattern - rising
progressively to a
then winding down to closure. (This is referred to as the story arc, or
can be drawn as a lopsided triangle.) At the end, whatever situation
was dealt it should have returned to a normal state - the crisis is
resolved, in some form or other. The use of a repeated symbol or image
helps establish this sense of closure.
For instance, this is from the first
paragraph of a descriptive
With the first killing
frost, the pelicans left me, heading for their winter
This is from the last paragraph of the
As I trudge up the path,
I look up and see
frost fairies dancing in the moonlight.
With the mention of frost in both
paragraphs, I have brought it full
For this exercise, write a story or
descriptive text of 300 to 500
words, and bring it "full circle" by using something from the beginning
at the end.
Florence Cardinal's wrap-up
Posted on: Sun, 10 Jun 2001
This, again, was an exercise in variety.
Complete stories in 500
less, each one incorporating a bit of the beginning at the end.
Some people didn't catch the exact idea of
the exercise, and I can't
fault them for that. It took Rheal and me about two months to try to
figure out what I was saying when I suggested the article! And, I'm
afraid, even the example I gave, wasn't too illuminating.
For this exercise to work, it was
necessary to not only repeat a
part of the
beginning at the end, but to have it be an integral part of the story.
However, most of the participants did get our intention of the exercise
did a good job of it.
I'm hoping that Rheal will choose to do
this exercise, or something
Web site created by
Rhéal Nadeau and
the administrators of the Internet Writing Workshop.
Modified by Gayle Surrette.