Aristotle taught us that stories should have a beginning, a middle, and an end. And so, for thousands of years our stories have had a beginning, a middle, and an end. But how many real stories have all three elements in equal measure? All stories start and end. They have something that happens inbetween. But these are arbitrary divisions.
Perhaps there is a story that is all beginning. It is meant to inspire you to fill in your own middle and end. Or perhaps there is a story that is focused on tying up loose ends from an elided beginning and middle. Or perhaps you have a story that more closely mirrors real life. It is all about the middle, the now. There are things that went on before and there are things that will go on later but the story is focused on the moment.
Isn’t that how we experience our lives? Shouldn’t our stories reflect our own experiences, at least some of the time. It’s nice when a story comes all neatly packaged with its Aristotelian components but isn’t it more realistic when you only get whatever pieces that were at hand?
It certainly makes a nice theory. Now it only remains for me to see if I can actually write a story based on these principles. The proof is, as they say, in the pudding.
The noise outside got quieter and quieter. She knew that something was happening but she was scared. There was a clanging noise from the middle of the courtyard right outside the barn where she had been awaiting the return of the clerk who had started this whole search for the hidden realm.
A crow cawed and the young man sat on the bench. He had come a long way since he had left his apartment with his walking cane and his little canine companion. They had found the journey long and arduous but rewarding as well.
It only remained to deliver the trophies and they would be on their way home, at least until new competitors vied for the title. Then they would have to accelerate their program to discover new artifacts from the Golden Age and keep their civilization intact.
Sweet dreams, don’t forget to tell the people you love that you love them, and most important of all, be kind.