My daughter Ray keeps asking me to help her with her homework…not her math homework (she’s got that down; mostly I just need to check it for careless errors) but her writing homework.
Every time she does, I’m reminded how not everyone has writer brain.
For instance, she has a recurring set of questions: “What is the beginning of the story?” “What is the middle of the story?” “What is the end of the story?”
To me, these things are easy. To her, they are @#$%^&&!!!!!
So I found a way to explain them that helped her quite a bit. Now I find myself using it when I write chapters:
1) The beginning is the problem of the story.
2) The middle is what the main character does to solve the problem.
3) The end of the story is whether the problem gets solved or not.
Simple enough for an eight-year-old to understand, right? Until I find myself plotting out a chapter and realize THE PROBLEM DOESN’T HAPPEN UNTIL THE MIDDLE OF THE CHAPTER.
Oh, and a cliffhanger? Just a hint of the next problem coming up.