change - ending and starting

by C. P. Caraway
(WA, US of NA)

Question: I have many, many Ideas on what to write about, but what has stopped me is when to stop and how to begin somewhere else in an engaging fashion. could you explain to me this phenomena?


Answer: Try to think about writing events. Events are changes. Someone starts to do something, runs into problems, is forced to make a choice, and as a result must head in a new direction.

Effort --> Conflict --> choice/action --> resolution

Sometimes something happens that kickstarts this process. For example, a bomb goes off, the mother-in-law arrives, a child drops his ball. That causes people to react (that's the effort).

Once an event has resolved itself, that's when you can start the cycle somewhere else and describe a new event.

Each event is distinct, even though events are linked to each other in a cause and effect chain. Multiple plot lines mean multiple chains interwoven.

Hope that helps.

Comments for change - ending and starting

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May 13, 2012
Starting and Ending paragraphs
by: C. P. Caraway

Sorry for not specifically asking what I wanted to know. what was on my mind at the time was why paragraphs would end and start. the flow between the paragraphs was what confuses me.

May 16, 2012
Response: Paragraphing
by: Glen

Okay, that is a different matter - though it is closely related.

In fiction, you generally make a paragraph about one topic, one action, or one statement by a character.

Some guidelines:

1. In dialogue, always start a new paragraph when you change speakers.

2. With action sequences, try to make each paragraph about a little event - one thing that happens or that one person does - with supporting details. Start a new paragraph to describe the response to that first action or what the next person does.

3. With description, describe one thing in a paragraph. Start a new paragraph when you switch to describing something else.

Obviously, you have a fair amount of freedom as the writer to decide when a new topic or action begins and what sentences go together. A paragraph can be one short sentence or (in rare instances) several pages.

Bear in mind that a comfortable rhythm for the reader is to have three to five sentences per paragraph on average, but you need to vary the length of your paragraphs to avoid monotonous prose.

Hope that answers your question.

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