Sunday, June 3, 2007

IWW Practice Exercise: "Coming Full Circle," v3

Prepared by: Florence Cardinal
Reposted, revised, on: June 3, 2007


Exercise: Use no more than 400 words to write a scene. Bring it full circle by tying the end to the beginning by use of the same symbol. Try to show a change in the character's perception of the symbol at the end of the story.


Bringing a story full circle is one technique used to write effective endings. For instance, if you start the story with softly falling snowflakes, then end it by mentioning the snow again. This device can use a repeated symbol or image to establish a sense of closure. The change can be subtle or something really startling.

This is from the first paragraph of a descriptive essay written by Florence Cardinal, a former admin:

"With the first killing frost, the pelicans left me, heading for their winter home in
Texas."

The last paragraph of the same essay brings it full circle to an effective close:


"As I trudge up the path, I look up and see frost fairies dancing in the moonlight."

What went on in between brought a change in the character's outlook on the frost.



Since this is a straightforward exercise, a writer might profit from doing a "self-critique." Focus on whether or not the scene uses the beginning symbolism at the end, and whether you can see any change. Remember, this symbol can be anything - a place, an object, even an animal or a person, and the change can be subtle or far-reaching.


All IWW Practice Exercises are archived.

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