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Writing Perspective – Day 13 of 31

By Valerie Routhieaux

Day 13: Parts of a Story

Welcome to day 13.

When I first began writing, I was clueless about what a book comprised. I’ve been writing since I was eight-years-old and my stories were plotless, and well, no good. So, what goes into a book, and how do you make it a novel someone will read?

Every book has three parts, beginning, middle, and end. It doesn’t matter if you’re reading books for children or adults, they must comprise those three areas or your book won’t make it in the world of publishing. The editor will put it in the slush pile and it won’t see the light of day.

The beginning of your novel introduces your characters and the setting. It also introduces the problem. The middle of your book is the problem and how you plan to solve the problem. The end is the solution to the problem, the happy ending.

Many books are simple one problem books. Your characters come upon a problem they need to solve. Consider Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Harry is left on the doorstep of the Dursley residence, his only relatives where he will remain until his eleventh birthday. It’s a calm, peaceful opening until the owls appear.

You have now moved from the opening to the middle. With the entrance of Hagrid, Harry is introduced to the world of wizardry and magic. Along the way, they stop at Gringot’s where Harry received his money, and Hagrid gets a package Harry must not mention to anyone. What happens with that package is the middle of the book, and solving it brings you to the end where Harry meets Lord Voldemort and vanquishes him until the next book.

In the middle of your book, you will find many twists and turns. When you think you have the problem solved, more trouble takes place until you’ve taken care of every possible problem and you can come to a feasible solution, the end of your novel.

The end of your novel is no more than a couple of chapters as you bring everything to a tidy close. In a mystery, all the clues are accounted for and explained. In a romance, they admit they love each other and live happily ever after.

No matter what genre you write in, or what age level, all stories will have an ending that will either leave you guessing about what will happen or bring to a happy ending with all the loose ends tied up. Open endings have a tendency to lead to a second book in a series.

Tomorrow’s Perspective: Character Development