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Narrative Beginnings and Endings

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by

Cassie Griffith

on 18 September 2013

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Transcript of Narrative Beginnings and Endings

Narrative Beginnings and Endings
Narrative Beginnings: Hooks
Hooks are "attention grabbers" that appear at the beginning of a story. Hooks draw the reader in and make them want to continue reading the story. Reel them in like you are reeling in a fish!
Examples from Literature
Narrative Endings
Creative endings to stories are just as important as hook beginnings. Endings to stories show (or suggest) the result of the conflict in the story. Endings are consistent with what happens throughout the story and with the characters' actions. Endings can come in the form of a plot twist, the teaching of a moral, and in a variety of other manners. The main thing to remember is that good endings satisfy the reader and make them feel some sort of emotion, whether it is shock, happiness, sadness, or anger.
This scene from the ending of the Harry Potter series demonstrates an effective ending with an unexpected twist. Because readers are not expecting this ending, it can be entertaining to the audience.
Examples of ways to create effective hooks
Begin with...
1. a simile or metaphor
2. an anecdote (mini personal story)
3. a famous quote
4. a definition
5. a scene
6. In the middle of the action
7. a unique character description
8. a shocking statistic
9. onomatopoeia
10. song lyrics

"Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much. They were the last people you'd expect to be involved in anything strange or mysterious, because they just didn't hold with such nonsense."
-Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Right away, readers can assume that something strange and mysterious is going on with the Dursleys, based on this hook. We want to keep reading to find out!

"Eleanor Lorraine Hornby was tall and big-boned and wore a forearm tattoo depicting an Electrolux Canister Vacuum."

This is an example from a short story that I wrote. I used an unusual description to draw in my readers. Readers want to find out more about the character Eleanor.
Examples from Literature
"The scar had not pained Harry for nineteen years. All was well."
-Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Here, readers are satisfied and feel positive emotion because it is a conclusive, hopeful ending for the series.
Now that you are finished, talk with your group members and discuss how you can use hooks and effective endings to enhance your writing. Be prepared to teach this information to your base group.
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