02 April 2007

Yet Another Case of Waxing on For Too Long in the Beginning

The Universal Story Form is made up of three parts: the Beginning, the Middle, the End.

Simple, right? Right.

The Beginning makes up of 1/4 of the entire page, scene, or word count.
The Middle makes up 1/2 of the page count.
The End makes up 1/4 of the page count

Simple, right? Well, it should be, but sometimes it's not, and for a very simple reason.

Often writers go on for too long in the Introductory mode at the Beginning. This is normal. Writers warm up at the Beginning. They get to know their characters. They usually write in summary, giving all sorts of what they believe are important details about the characters and the story up front.

What's wrong with that, you ask? Absolutely nothing, in the first draft, that is. After the first draft, this rambling on and on poses a significant problem.

By going on for too long in the Beginning, the writer alienates the reader or movie-goer. Your audience to become impatient to get to the "good part" -- the Middle. They grow tired of the introductions and want to get to the heart of the story world itself -- the Middle. They want something big to happen, be swept off their feet, so to speak.

Write to the End without going back to the Beginning. Once you have the first, ugly, messy, not worthy, vomit, and all the other ways people describe their first drafts, divide the entire page count by four. If you find the Beginning drifts way beyond the 1/4 mark, consider cutting all the writing you did to get warmed up. Generally this adds up to be the first 50 - 100 pages. Now you see why I want you to write all the way to the end without going back? If you had done what too many writers do and get stuck in the syndrome of hitting the middle of the Middle and then going back to the Beginning, your Beginning will be all polished and nice, and much, much more difficult and painful to cut than if you have only written it once.

(For tips on how to push yourself beyond the middle of the Middle without going back and starting again, please visit the tips page on http://www.blockbusterplots.com)