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Be A Better Writer--THE MAGIC ENDING

These lessons, by one of our most consistent FaithWriters' Challenge Champions, should not be missed. So we're making a permanent home for them here.

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Cinnamon Bear
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Re: Be A Better Writer--THE MAGIC ENDING

Postby Cinnamon Bear » Sun Mar 23, 2014 10:48 am

When I read this thread I couldn't think of any of my entries that had magic endings. (Some with weak endings, definitely. :) )

However, Jan recently critiqued an entry that I placed in the Critique Circle. She pointed out some flaws that are similar to magic endings. Perhaps they could be called "magic middles".

The entry is "Santa Fe Journey"
http://www.faithwriters.com/wc-article-level3-previous.php?id=46819

In this entry I arranged both the deaths of Emily's parents and that of her cousin. Jan pointed out that this was too much of a coincidence for such a short story. She further pointed out that the aim of these deaths appeared to be to get Emily and Peter together.

"Magical" coincidences resulting in a contrived ending.

Cinnamon Bear

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Re: Be A Better Writer--THE MAGIC ENDING

Postby philippa » Sun Mar 23, 2014 11:08 pm

This really is a great learning site. Thanks to Jan and everyone else for contributing.
These Magical Endings and even the Magic Middles have made me try think more professionally- as opposed to 'pie in the sky' . Still the challenge of finding the 'Magic Beginning' is pure fun.
I'm off now to learn where to put a comma.

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Re: Be A Better Writer--THE MAGIC ENDING

Postby tomoral » Mon Mar 24, 2014 7:00 pm

Jan, for the old minds like me, could you somehow post a brief synopsis on great beginnings, middles, and endings?

Just the basics of how to begin, fill in, and end a typical good story. If you could put it all together because I have trouble remembering it all. I want to write a good story, and I'm trying to remember how to make it all come together. :oops:

Blessings, Lynn
God Bless the beasts and the children
Give them shelter from the storms.
Children are our tomorrow
Keep them daily from the sorrow
Of the beasts in life

http://www.faithwriters.com/websites/my ... p?id=57394

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Re: Be A Better Writer--THE MAGIC ENDING

Postby glorybee » Mon Mar 24, 2014 7:11 pm

tomoral wrote:Jan, for the old minds like me, could you somehow post a brief synopsis on great beginnings, middles, and endings?

Just the basics of how to begin, fill in, and end a typical good story. If you could put it all together because I have trouble remembering it all. I want to write a good story, and I'm trying to remember how to make it all come together. :oops:

Blessings, Lynn


When I was teaching high school English, we used something called a "plot graph" to plot the important parts of a story. However, I'm not sure I could do a "brief synopsis"--the parts of that plot graph were the things that I taught all year.

There's already a lesson here on "Great Beginnings"--http://www.faithwriters.com/Boards/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=67&t=37921

But hoo boy, just about every lesson I've done has to do with the stuff that goes in the middle.

I have a very crazy week and weekend, and I'm not sure that I'll have a new lesson this week. But I'll try to come up with a lesson on that "plot graph" soon, and hope that it answers some of your questions.
Jan Ackerson

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Re: Be A Better Writer--THE MAGIC ENDING

Postby tomoral » Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:48 am

Thank you for all you do for us here, and I appreciate your lessons. I know it is a lot of trouble, so if you don't have time and believe me, I know how precious time is, I will get myself together and read these great teachings over and over. You have helped me tremendously. I have always been so fond of "magic endings" having experienced God's miracles myself, but now I see how they might not be the right thing to do for others.

Blessings, Lynn
God Bless the beasts and the children
Give them shelter from the storms.
Children are our tomorrow
Keep them daily from the sorrow
Of the beasts in life

http://www.faithwriters.com/websites/my ... p?id=57394

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Re: Be A Better Writer--THE MAGIC ENDING

Postby glorybee » Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:55 am

Thanks, Lynn--

But please don't think that you should never write a story about one of God's precious miracles. I have done so myself, and there is certainly a time and a place for those types of stories.

I would encourage you, however, to think of new ways to write a "miracle story," if only from a writerly standpoint. The "happy ending" is not only cliched, but also it is not always how life works. How about putting the miracle in the middle of the story, and then use the rest of the story to say what happened next? How about opening with the miracle, and then taking it from there? There are all sorts of ways that we can structure a story so that it is different from other stories, and I'm always looking for the new, fresh approach.
Jan Ackerson

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Re: Be A Better Writer--THE MAGIC ENDING

Postby dadcard2 » Tue Mar 25, 2014 2:43 pm

This was a clever article. I liked the way you capitalized SCARF to make the point of an overly strong hint.

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Re: Be A Better Writer--THE MAGIC ENDING

Postby glorybee » Tue Mar 25, 2014 2:47 pm

dadcard2, I'm not sure what this comment means. Did you mean to post it elsewhere?
Jan Ackerson

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Re: Be A Better Writer--THE MAGIC ENDING

Postby philippa » Tue Mar 25, 2014 8:28 pm

While America sleeps -Aussies rule the cyber waves!
Don't know why I wrote that it just seemed like a good idea at the time. :lol:
I like the idea of writing the 'miracle' in the middle as it satisfies all requirements.
Thanks Jan.

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Re: Be A Better Writer--THE MAGIC ENDING

Postby dadcard2 » Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:48 pm

glorybee wrote:dadcard2, I'm not sure what this comment means. Did you mean to post it elsewhere?


Actually I was responding to the 'magic ending' lesson; sorry if I got it wrong.

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Re: Be A Better Writer--THE MAGIC ENDING

Postby glorybee » Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:58 pm

dadcard2 wrote:
glorybee wrote:dadcard2, I'm not sure what this comment means. Did you mean to post it elsewhere?


Actually I was responding to the 'magic ending' lesson; sorry if I got it wrong.


Nope, I "get it" now. I was looking at my post just before yours; I had forgotten about my "SCARF" illustration at the original lesson! My fault, and thank you for your kind words.
Jan Ackerson

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Re: Be A Better Writer--THE MAGIC ENDING

Postby dadcard2 » Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:08 pm

No problem; I often have trouble getting used to new sites.

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