Writers are so good about sharing what they have learned with other newbie writers. And by ‘newbie’ I mean anyone who is working to learn the craft of writing. Isn’t that everyone? We never stop learning.
I have heard all my life about the story arc, which is another way to describe the story line. The arc/storyline is the growth of the main character or the progress of the story. Having an arc makes for a successful story. The arc means the story has gone somewhere, progressed, moved along the road and taken its readers with it. But there can be more than just having a successful story with movement. It is possible for a writer to develop a satisfying story, one which gives the reader a sense of completeness at the end.
One way to do this is to circle back to the beginning, returning at the end to repeat a scenario, a sentence, quote or even a phrase used at the beginning of the book. Even though your reader may not remember exactly how the story began, they will somehow sense the story completion. The writing has come full circle and brought them back to the beginning in a poetic way. This doesn’t mean that nothing has happened – quite the contrary. Life has happened, whether a brief event or a tale of many generations.
Completing the story circle is like life itself, coming full circle.
On this eve of the new year, the story arc, for each of us who call ourselves writers, continues to develop. Each story, and each book, is a new part of the arc. In 2013, I completed two books of short stories, published as ebooks through smashwords and as books through CreateSpace at Amazon.com. I also published my first mystery, “Cobwebs – A suspense novel” through Wheatmark. It was a banner year for me but not only because of these publishing successes. I started this blog – my writing blog – which will continue on a weekly basis in 2014, and I continued, for the third year, my nature blog which is part of my website, http://www.marymcintyrecoley.com. This first blog is an outlet for my professional work in environmental education.
What’s New Year’s Eve without thought of resolutions? Here are mine: (1) Publish the sequel to Cobwebs, which I call Burrows, and (2) Complete revisions of two other mysteries with already completed first drafts. The circle of my writing life continues.
My New Years wish for you is that you continue your story arcs, and work to complete your story circles, not only in writing, but in your life!