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Beginnings, Middles & Ends by Nancy Kress is one of my recommended writing books. It is part of the Elements of FICTION WRITING Series published by Writer's Digest. While there are many books in this series, this one is my favorite as it takes you from first words to last line with writing exercises after each section.
BEGINNINGS - Kress tells what the reader expects the writer to deliver during the first few pages. She describes the promise writers make to the reader. This promise becomes the basis for the emotional and intellectual story.
MIDDLES - The middle develops the promise made in the beginning. While there are mini-plots and multiple story lines, Kress teaches the writer to keep on track and to create three-dimensional characters that are capable of credible change.
ENDS -Kress teaches the writer how to deliver an ending that satisfies, and she does that by controlling the climax and the denouement.
Nancy Kress is the author ofmore than a dozen booking, including Beggars in Spain, which won both the Hugo and the Nebula awards.She is a regular columnist for Writer's Digest.