Quote of the Day

In the great storytelling there is usually an indication of the resolution in the first sentence.–Madeleine L’Engle

I came across this quote in Madeleine L’Engle Herself: Reflections on A Writing Life. She goes on to talk about examples from Hemingway and Chekov, but even without knowledge of those stories, this quote is really intriguing. You don’t tend to think about the first line resolving anything. But I like the suggestion that the beginning of the story has to connect with the end of the story. The parts of a narrative don’t exist in a vacuum.

Definitely going back to my first sentence and thinking about how to reflects the rest of the story.

One thought on “Quote of the Day

  1. I have heard that before, though not that particular quote. I also have heard that the first paragraph is supposed to be written with the novel’s resolution in mind. It’s a great target to aim for, albeit tricky. Because while you don’t want to give away the ending, you do want to show your readers what to expect. I can’t begin to count how many times I have revised that first sentence/first paragraph/first page.

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