1. jo3bo
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    jo3bo Member

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    Ends as beginnings

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by jo3bo, May 31, 2011.

    Hi, wasn't really sure what to title this one, but anyway here goes:

    In one of the novels that I am writing, I begin with a small 500 word excerpt from the end of the novel (the majority of the story is a flashback of sorts). It's not the very end but it's close to it.

    What I was wondering is: when I arrive at this point, that I have already explained part of, how do I incorporate it into the end piece?

    Do I simply repeat it? condense it down and cover it very quickly? or skip it entirely?

    Of course there is the option not to follow this structure at all, but I really think it benefits the novel. Any advice with this would be much appreciated :)
     
  2. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    You could describe it from another viewpoint, using what the reader has learned through the story.
     
  3. jo3bo
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    jo3bo Member

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    I cannot explain it from a different viewpoint in terms of a character or person, but to do it in light of events that have happened throughout the novel could work very well.

    Thanks :)
     
  4. Mobhit
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    Mobhit Senior Member

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    I am writing a Four Part. Part 1. Girl From India, Part 2. Girl from U.S., Part 3. Girl from U.K. In the Beginning of Part 4A. I have all of the Girl experiencing the Same thing Together. 1.2.3. Is the Story of Each getting to the Situation in which Part 4a happens. Part 4B Is the conclusion

    Essentially I am placing the End of the Story in the Beginning and End! through three different viewpoints of three man Characters, to work up to what the Reader Knows, however being that the reader sort knows what is coming Be prepared to Throw a curve ball.
     
  5. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think the novel "Lace" is a good example of that kind of storytelling, but it doesn't start with the ultimate end, but a little before the end so that the climax is still to come, the most important things are still to be revealed. Maybe you can try something like that? I don't think you have to repeat it again if you have raised interestign enough questions in the beginning. I personally think its a pretty cool way of writing, I definitely have to try it myself some time :)
     
  6. HotfireLegend
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    You can repeat what you have said in the beginning easily. It will reinforce what the reader has read before. How about putting a plot twist straight afterward?
     
  7. jo3bo
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    jo3bo Member

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    Thanks for the comments,

    @Mobhit:Thanks for the advice and good luck with your book :)

    @Tesoro: Okay thanks, I'll check that novel out :) and yes, my beginning is similar in that it is not the very end of the story.

    @HotfireLegend: Yeah, the beginning (the excerpt from the end) finishes with a decision that has to be made, the outcome of which we will not know until the very end. Not exactly a plot twist but it's something :)
     
  8. Norm
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    Norm Contributing Member

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    The movie Megamind is a good example of using the end at the beginning story telling technique, but then going back to tell the story so when you get back to the part you already know, there is a nice twist and happy ending at everything.

    If you want it in book form, Fight Club has a glorious end for a beginning set up.
     
  9. jo3bo
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    jo3bo Member

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    Okay thanks, haven't seen Megamind, maybe I should check it out :) and I've been meaning to read Fight Club for some time now, so thank you for reminding me :)
     
  10. _Lulu_
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    _Lulu_ Member

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    I read a book that is based on a true story called Fatwa: Living with a death threat.

    It started at the end and it was left on a huge cliffhanger, I wanted to know what happened right there and then but it went on to 8 years prior that scene and told the story from the beginning. I haven't read the book in years but from what I can remember I think when it finally got back to that scene I don't think it was repeated, I think it just carried on from that cliffhanger. I can't check as the book is at my sisters.
    As the end first chapter had such a huge impact by the time you get back to it you wouldn't have forgotten any of what happened so it didn't need repeating anyway.
    Infact I highly recommend this book to everybody, it's written by Jacky Trevane (My sister is not a reader and even she couldn't put it down once she started).

    I guess it also all depends on how long your novel is and the nature of it.
    I do think books that start like that are very intriguing.

    Good luck :)
     
  11. jo3bo
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    jo3bo Member

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    Thanks Lulu, i'll definitely give it a read. I guess, when it comes down to it, I'll just have to make a judgement call on what feels best at the time :)
     
  12. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    The Five People You Meet in Heaven might be similar to what you're attempting. The main character Eddie, dies in the first chapter, and the resolution that connects or finishes the circle comes at the end.

    What happened in the beginning of the novel is part of the ending, but the reader sees it in a new light.

    As you write your story, this may come to pass as well and I suspect you'll know better how to deal with it when you get to that point.
     
  13. Quezacotl
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    Quezacotl Contributing Member

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    Though not literature, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann pulls this off well, though briefly. It draws the reader in, and makes the viewer confuse the deuteragonist with the actual protagonist. I would explain it more, but watch it, I would hate to spoil it.

    Catch-22 does this too. It starts towards then end of the story, and makes the reader wonder exactly what traumatized Yossarian, and flashes back/forward arbitrarily.
     
  14. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't think "Five people..." is the same thing, it starts with the death but that IS the beginning not something that happens near the end to then look backwards to see what preceded it.
     

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