About Mario

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Born and raised in Los Angeles, Mario Piumetti is a freelance writer of science fiction, horror, screenplays, and nonfiction. He has a bachelor's degree in English from California Lutheran University and an MFA in creative writing from Antioch University. An avid music lover, his work is heavily influenced by rock, punk, and metal. You can contact him at mario.piumetti.writer@gmail.com.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Alpha and Omega Sentences

John Irving said he needs to know the last sentence of his stories before he can start them.  They give him a target to aim for.  That makes sense, but as I began a new short story earlier this week, I started to think that Irving's logic is in reverse.

I need the first sentence, something to build off of.  The last sentence is always a problem because it's the culmination of everything that came before it.  And even if you're a plotter and got your story roughed out on note cards, the finer details of the story - tone, specific events, little hints planted earlier, etc. - might not match up to that perfect finale.

Put another way, Irving's method is like building a house before laying the foundations.  I'm not saying he's wrong.  What works for him works for him.  I'm just saying that I don't understand how you can expect to reverse engineer from a single sentence.

I guess John Irving and I could settle the matter with a wrestling match.  On second though, scratch that.  Irving may be in his seventies, but I'm pretty sure he could still kick my ass. 

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