If you keep these 3 components in mind while writing, you will have a more complete story. In general, you are looking at each component representing a section of the work. If you divided the work, whether article or story, into 4 equal sections, then the first component (BEGINNING) will equal about 1/4 of the work. The second component (MIDDLE) will represent 2/4 or 1/2 of the total work. The third component (END) will represent the last 1/4 of the work. Keep in mind, this is just an approximate division; every work will be different.
1 – BEGINNING:
- The introduction to the work or story.
- Depending on the topic of the work, this section may be short or long, but will be less than the middle.
- In non-fiction, the beginning will serve as a “set up” to introduce the reader to the topic and give a brief outline or suggestion of what to expect in the rest of the work.
- It may be used to tease the reader or to present a view into the characters, setting and plot.
2 – MIDDLE:
- The exposition of characters, events, action, plot, research and main points of the work. This takes up the majority of the work.
- In non-fiction, the middle will explain all theories, points, beliefs, facts, history etc. of the topic. This section will explore in great depth each of the points, usually sectioned by chapter (if a book).
- This is where the writer will focus most of his or her attention. He will ask and answer questions, usually from either a teaching/education perspective or an informative perspective. Think of a math text book versus Grandma’s memoir.
- In fiction, the middle will explore the plot and parallel subplots more deeply. This is where the main antagonist (the enemy-person, circumstance, disease etc), plus other secondary and more minor characters will be introduced and explored more fully. In crime/mystery and suspense, the killer’s identity will be foreshadowed in this section.
- Foreshadowing, conflict, pacing, dialogue, red herrings and character development are key in this section. Conflict will play a vital role here. Numerous conflicts up the ‘danger’ element.
- Just when everything seems to be working in favor of the main character (protagonist), something will happen to throw off the balance and rev up the action. This is true of all genres.
3 – END:
- The conclusion of the work or story; the wrap up of events. Usually the shortest component.
- In non-fiction, the end will wrap up the main points and beliefs of the writer.
- This section will serve to emphasize why the writer chose this topic and what the main reason is for writing about it.
- In fiction, the end will come to a climax where action and threat is of utmost importance.
- A main conflict is revealed: such as the identity of a killer, a love interest, the truth of a mystery or a self-realization for the character.
- Resolution occurs and someone loses, someone wins. Loose ends are tied up. The reader is left feeling that all is explained, or at least most (a twist at the end is popular with series.)
©2007 Cheryl Kaye Tardif