55327_girl-writing_mdOne of the topics covered in the conference was beginnings and endings. There’s something archetypal about the very words. Every day is a new beginning, and in the end, everything passes away. Nothing about the human condition is ever forever. The question is how to present striking ideas, images and also, incidentally, a hook that leads the reader into the story between, plus leaves them thinking about meanings at the end. Looking at these specifications, what comes to mind? Apparently the word “sex.”

Okay, now that the big one is out of the way, what else? It’s not that hard to come up with tragic and dramatic topics: illness, the failure of a marriage, the death of a child, the end of dreams. Once we’ve got this beginning, we have to be prepared to follow through. We only have to make up characters that can carry these beginnings out to a meaningful end.