One of my favorite authors is the husband-wife team of Ilona Andrews. Several years ago I attended a writing workshop they held.

Writer’s Workshop: Beginnings

Includes things like

Simple exercise:
Picture parked police car by character’s home. The character is walking home and sees car.
What is the character going to do?

Discussion of internal versus external plots.

Where to start.

Ilona Andrews: Middle

Includes things like

Build up tension. IN YOUR HEAD.
As a reader you are holding your breath. Then explosive motion at the end. Exhale.

This is what you do in the middle of your novel. You just do it on a larger scale.

Think of genre that you want to write in.
Find book. Take story apart.
You will be pulling the curtain back.

Writer’s Workshop with Ilona Andrews: End

Includes things like

If you’ve done the beginning and the middle, the resolution will be wonderful.
You are the reader at that moment.

Cinderella is good historical romance, but Fairy Godmother is God in the Machine. Resolution comes unexpectedly.

Don’t resolve unexpectedly.

Write your big finale and then write the end in a way to make yourself happy as a reader.


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