It’s that time for another group blog. This month’s topic is ‘How do you ensure a story has a good beginning, a satisfying ending, and good continuity in between?”

It’s a great topic, but my first thought was, if I knew that I’d be a NY Times best seller. But it is something every writer faces. How do we tackle it and hopefully make it happen?

I’m more of a pantser. I get an idea. Then I start to develop my characters and I start writing to see where I go. I know I need a hook and a few first pages to pull in a reader. I look at what I’ve written, maybe a chapter or two and go back to the beginning. Hopefully by now I’m learning about my h/h. What’s the inciting incident? What causes an abrupt shift in the story? What starts my h/h on their journey? Once I figure out exactly what that is, I write enough information to get the readers interest, and hopefully keep them reading to find out more.

I don’t find the satisfying ending too difficult. I write romantic suspense, so it will be a happily ever after ending. During the journey through the story I’ve gotten to know my characters, their idiosyncrasies, their real goals and they’re challenges getting together. They’ve reached their goals, resolved their personal issues, admitted their love and will live happily ever after.

And the continuity, or sometimes know as the sagging middles, has always been the biggest challenge for me. Keeping the story moving toward the goals, having the h/h grow, address their personal issues and solve the challenges, whatever they may be depending on the genre, this is my challenge. I do draw a basic chart for each main character with their personal issues and conflicts with each other and tick them off as they’re resolved. If I I’m staring at the screen and can’t figure out what to do next I remember what someone once told me. There’s no such thing as writing block, it means you don’t know your story or your characters as well as you should, or maybe you’re trying to make your characters do something that’s against their nature. So I stop, go back and do more research for the story and I talk to my characters.

Hopefully when I start to write again the middle will meet all those issues and proceed smoothly to the HEA. 

I look forward to seeing what the other others have to say. I hope you do too. Join me in checking them out.

Skye Taylor

Marci Baun

Judith Copek

Margaret Fieland

A.J. Maguire  http://ajmaguire.wordpress .com/

Dr. Bob Rich

Anne de Gruchy

Rhobin L Courtright