Elements of Fiction Writing - Beginnings, Middles & Ends

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Writer's Digest Books, Mar 15, 1999 - Reference - 149 pages
4 Reviews

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 on 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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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ghr4 - LibraryThing

Nancy Kress's Beginnings, Middles & Ends, part of the Elements of Fiction series, is an excellent reference tool for writers, as it clearly and concisely explains the hows and whys of effective story ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - devilwrites - LibraryThing

I want to start off by saying this is a fabulous resource. I picked it up because I've long heard Kress's "How To" books praised, and I must say, I'm very glad I did. There are, as always, things I ... Read full review

Selected pages


The Very Beginning Your Opening Scene
The Later Beginning Your Second Scene
Help for Beginnings Early Revision
The Middle Staying on Track
Under Development Your Characters at Midstory
Help for Middles Getting Unstuck
Satisfying Endings Delivering on the Promise
The Very End Last Scene Last Paragraph Last Sentence
Help for Endings The Last Hurrah

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About the author (1999)

Nancy Kress is an author who won Best Novella at the Nebula Awards 2014 for her title Yesterday's Kin.

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