I'm told all stories should have a beginning, middle and end. I've come across a few without all three, but in general most decent writers seem to adhere to this basic principle.
I've also read that occasionally, it's a good idea to tie the end in with the beginning, by returning full circle to the opener. I must agree with "occasionally" because I could see that formula getting old if repeated too often. That said, repeating a sentence in the beginning and end of a story can be a useful practice tool (or perfect way intro into the horror genre) to make sure that your story related from beginning to end. I also think it's helpful for children learning to read and write, because it's a way for them to answer a question, which is really what writing is all about - fiction or non-fiction.
Imagine a kid asking a question - Why is the sun bright? A parent or teacher may answer something about the burning gasses and reflection of light and whatever else factors into a bright sunny day and round out the question with an affirmative, "and that is why the sun is bright."
In that way, asking a child to write a full circle story where a single sentence is repeated in the beginning and end can help them along their way to literacy.
writercize: Begin and end a short story (fiction or non-fiction ok) with the following sentence: "The clock struck one."
Click "read more" for writercizer sample response, and check back tomorrow for the first guest post of the year by Word Nerd Speaks!writercizer sample response:
The clock struck one, and the mouse ran along the baseboards inside the wall straight to the smaller-than-a-stick-of-gum hole it broke through every night in the kitchen. The older members of the Slossen family went to sleep around midnight, and the mouse knew to wait around for proof all the humans in the house were in a deep sleep. Once the shuffling of pillows and covers died down as restless energy came to a halt and dreams began seeping in, she could hear the faintest hint of human snores and she knew the time was coming to get the cheese. The mouse always waited for the next chime and then scurried straight towards the kitchen. Tonight, though, she found a surprise. The hole was patched over; someone had closed down her path to nutrition. Poor little mouse was shocked to find that the night before, when she had joyfully gorged on Swiss and Brie, was to be her last night ever sneaking in to the Slossens' home when the clock struck one.