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IWW Practice-W Exercise Archives
Exercise: Coming full circle (Version 4)

These exercises were written by IWW members and administrators to provide structured practice opportunities for its members. You are welcome to use them for practice as well. Please mention that you found them at the Internet Writers Workshop (http://www.internetwritingworkshop.org/).

Prepared by: Florence Cardinal
Posted on: July 26, 2003
Reposted on: May 30, 2004
Reposted on: May 28, 2005
Reposted, revised, on: April 23, 2006
Reposted, revised, on: June 3, 2007
Reposted, revised, on: September 28, 2008
Reposted on: April 17, 2011
Reposted on: August 11, 2013
Reposted on: May 10, 2015
Reposted on: November 26, 2017

_____________________

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 repeats a symbol or image to establish a sense of closure. The change in the character can be subtle or 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. _____________________

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.

_____________________

To critique, focus on whether or not the scene uses the beginning symbolism at the end, and whether the character changes from beginning to end.  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.


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Modified by Gayle Surrette.