Sunday, February 3, 2008

beginnings, endings and cute spirals

To be honest, so far I have never stressed too much about where to start a story. I've tried two different starting places at most, but usually settled for just before things change, which feels natural to me.
At the moment I am worrying about whether to change the ending, whether to force an ending back at the geographical starting point for a cute spiral (which is what I have at the moment) or end where most of the action has taken place.
Do you think that good story should always triumph over form? How much should a novel be like a poem?

Noma, you spelled my name wrong you.

4 comments:

Laura Bradley Rede said...

Hey, Sarah. I read somewhere that the "cute spiral" is most useful if you are trying to emphasize how much your protaganist has changed on the journey by bringing her back to the starting point and showing that it is the same but she isn't-- a "you can't go home again" moment-- OR when you are trying to show how much the starting place has changed, for example to show that your protag beat the Big Bad Evil by showing us the once cursed village as a now happy place, etc. I love the cute spiral. It makes me feel like all the loose ends are wrapped up.

Norma Boe said...

"Cute spiral" is a new term for me. Is it like "book ending" your story? Do you have a definition?

Norma Boe said...

Oh and I fixed the typo, Laura, I mean Sarah... :-)

Laura Bradley Rede said...

Hey, Norma. I think "cute spiral" is a Sarah original, a Death-Pixie-coined phrase like "hot off the brain." :) I just took it to mean ending the story where it started, but one step off, the way a spiral curves around to paralell the starting place. I'm maybe putting words in Sarah's mouth. Did you only mean geographically, Sarah, or are there other ways to "cute spiral," like repeating a line? I think there is discussion of the spiral as a plot form in the intro of "Twenty Master Plots." but I think we're the ones who declared it "cute."