“Beginnings, Middles & Ends” by Nancy Kress

Get your stories off to a roaring start. Keep them tight and crisp throughout. Conclude them with a wallop.

Is the story or novel you’ve been carrying around in your head the same one you see on the page? Or does the dialogue suddenly sound flat and predictable? Do the events seem to ramble?

Translating a flash of inspiration into a compelling story requires careful crafting. The words you choose, how you describe characters, and the way you orchestrate conflict all make the difference – the difference between a story that is slow to begin, flounders midway, or trails off at the end – and one that holds the interest of readers and editors to the final page. By demonstrating effective solutions for potential problems at each stage of your story, Nancy Kress will help you…

  • hook the editor in the first three paragraphs.
  • make – and keep – your story’s “implicit promise.”
  • build drama and credibility by controlling your prose.

Dozens of exercises help you strengthen your short story or novel. Plus, you’ll sharpen skills and gain new insight into…

  • the price a writer pays for flashbacks.
  • six ways characters should “reveal” themselves.
  • techniques for writing – and rewriting.

Let this working resource be your guide to successful stories – from beginning to end.

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