What is the 10 element of the story?

Answered by Randy McIntyre

The tenth element of a story is the connection between its beginning and its ending. This is a critical aspect of a memorable picture book as it helps to create a sense of cohesion and completion in the narrative.

One way to connect the beginning and ending of a story is through a recurring theme or motif. This could be a symbol, an object, a phrase, or a particular event that appears at both the beginning and the end of the book. By reintroducing this element, the author creates a sense of symmetry and closure, giving the story a satisfying and cohesive structure.

For example, in the picture book “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein, the story begins with a young boy playing under a tree and ends with an old man sitting on a stump, reflecting on the tree’s selfless acts of giving. The recurring image of the tree throughout the story serves as a powerful symbol of love, sacrifice, and the cyclical nature of life. By connecting the beginning and ending in this way, the author leaves the reader with a lasting impression of the story’s central message.

Another way to connect the beginning and ending is through a character’s personal growth or transformation. The story may start with a character who is facing a problem or challenge, and by the end, they have learned something or changed in some way. This transformation can create a sense of resolution and closure for the reader.

In the picture book “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle, the story begins with a tiny caterpillar who is constantly hungry and eats his way through various foods. However, by the end of the book, the caterpillar has transformed into a beautiful butterfly. This transformation not only connects the beginning and ending of the story but also conveys a message of growth, change, and the beauty of nature.

Additionally, the use of parallel structure can help connect the beginning and ending of a story. This involves mirroring or echoing certain elements, such as language, imagery, or events, to create a sense of continuity and unity. By repeating certain elements, the author can create a strong sense of closure and leave the reader with a feeling of satisfaction.

One example of parallel structure can be found in the picture book “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak. The story begins with Max being sent to his room without supper and ends with him returning home to find his dinner waiting for him. The repetition of the meal at the beginning and end of the story serves as a parallel, highlighting the cyclical nature of Max’s adventure and providing a sense of resolution.

The connection between a story’s beginning and ending is a crucial element in creating a memorable picture book. Whether through recurring themes or motifs, character growth and transformation, or parallel structure, the author can create a sense of cohesion, closure, and resonance that lingers with the reader long after they finish the book.