As writers, we’re often told that stories should contain a beginning, a middle and an end. It sounds so simple when it’s put like that. But it’s not simple. And nobody ever seems to expand on that advice.
I was always frustrated by the 3 part structure because I didn’t know what to put in those three parts. Sure, I’ll start at the beginning, but what goes there? What goes at the end? What is in the vast middle?
It took me years to find out the answer, and while I might do a post going into detail at some point, it boils down to this:
- The Beginning
Tell the audience who your main character is and what their world is like.
- The Middle
Tell us what happens to change the main character’s world.
- The End
Tell us who the main character is now and what their world is like.
Once I realised that, I started challenging myself to writing exercises where I’d write a full story in as short a space as possible. It’s a good warm up exercise and it can spark off some great full length stories. In the end, I found that the best format is 4 sentences.
So, my challenge to you is to write a story in just 4 sentences. The first is the beginning, the second and third are the middle and the fourth is the end. It doesn’t matter if erotica isn’t your bag, you can write any genre you like. Put your stories in the comments or post them and link back here so that I can see the results. Here’s mine for today:
Erica found the address scribbled on a napkin in her husband’s jacket pocket. It led her to an abandoned warehouse with loud music and strobe lights, where people danced and fucked. Among them she found Anthony being sodomized by a grinning woman with a six inch dildo. She watched them for half an hour, then she took over.