1. cmbrnt

    cmbrnt New Member

    Jan 7, 2012
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    Reveling a happy ending in the beginning of a fictional autobiography

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by cmbrnt, Jan 8, 2012.

    I'm writing a novel set as an autobiography written in the first person narrative, and am a bit torn when it comes to a major choice I have to make, rather sooner than later.

    The novel centers around the narrator going through a very rough period of his life, coming out stronger in the end. I suppose the moral of my story eventually is that a complete asshole can in fact save his relationship and his career if he has the willpower to put in some work, and how a person can become cynical because of his environment, but doesn't have to stay that way his whole life. Throughout the novel I have sections where he compares his life in the old days to his current situation, and where he critically looks at his behavior in a way that is different from how he saw it then.

    So, my question is: Would you think it ruins the story if the narrator reveals his current situation throughout the book? I guess it would make perfect sense in the autobiography of a well known person, but in this case the story is fictional and this may be viewed differently.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. This is my first novel, and I would love to finish it.
  2. erik martin

    erik martin Active Member

    May 20, 2010
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    San Diego, CA
    It's in the execution. While not common, I've read a great many books where the author reveals information about the ending right up front. This is okay if A)suspense is not integral to the story, B)the style or story is so interesting that despite knowing something about the ending I still really want to see how they get there, and/or C) even with the initial reveal, there is still a little extra that isn't revealed that makes the ending a surprise anyway. Good luck with your book.
  3. jazzabel

    jazzabel Contributor Contributor

    Jan 5, 2012
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    Not knowing the details of your story this might be wrong advice, but since the book is about a rough patch in someone's life, to me it makes sense not to reveal anything but to keep the reader guessing, because then they keep reading to find out what happens in the end.
    Best of luck with your book! :)
  4. Birmingham

    Birmingham Active Member

    Jan 24, 2011
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    I guess it really depends on the type of info you give in the beginning. In the movie "Fallen" the protagonist (Denzel Washington) is showin lying in the snow, wounded, and he explains to us that this is the time he almost died, and then goes on to tell us of how he got there. So that's a cool tease if you can write it well.

    Also, in Andrew Klavan's "Empire of Lies" the narrator writes in the beginning about how now he's famous, and he knows many people hate him because of what has been written about him, and that now it's time for him to tell his side of the story, etc. So the reader might start thinking "hey, who is this Jason Harrow guy? Why did this ordinary man, ordinary like me, became famous? Why do people hate him? It is a good teaser because it gets you to imagine how frustrated you would be if everyone in your country knew who you are and hated your guts. So you really want to know how this guy got there.

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