GEK1049: Tutorial 2, Beginnings & Ends

GEK1049 Tutorials Homepage.
Main reading:
, Chapter 2: Beginnings and Ends.
Further readings:
End Thoughts by Alicia Rasley (1997)
How to Handle the Beginnings and Endings of Your Stories by Chris King
The Ending of The Lord of the Rings (Sparknotes)
Putting Endings First by Chip Scanlan Poynteronline (16 June 2004)
Ten story beginnings to avoid by William Meikle


All students should answer all the questions below. You should give your own examples in your responses to each of them.

  1. How do narratives begin?
  2. Do all narratives begin the same way?
  3. In a given social situation, how do you begin to tell a story? Are there situations where telling a story is impossible?
  4. What are the features to be found at the beginning of a narrative?
  5. Can narratives begin at the end? In this regard, are there different ideas of beginning and end?
    1. If there are different ideas for what is a beginning and what is an end, is it possible for a narrative to end at the beginning?
    2. Are we really talking in relative terms here when we say that a narrative can begin at the 'end' and end at the 'beginning' (i.e. the 'end' at the beginning occurs before the absolute end, and the 'beginning' at the end occurs after the absolute beginning)?
  6. Can there be several 'beginnings' after the overall beginning of a narrative? Likewise, can there be several 'ends' before the final end of a narrative? Why are there several 'beginnings' and 'ends' before the final end of a narrative?
  7. Graphic narratives, as you know, may be realised in the form of single-frame cartoons or complete paintings on single canvasses. Where are the beginning and end of a graphic narrative with a single frame?

Last revised: 25/08/2013


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