Linear Vs. Non-Linear

Do we start the story at the end? Or do we start the story in the middle and build our way back to the beginning? Are we being creative when we use a non-linear narrative to tell a story or are we hiding the fact that our story is boring? All good questions. Non-linear story telling is not new, it’s been around for some time but our new reliance on using a non-linear story to escape story structure is getting a little annoying. Do we really need to start at the end and then jump forward and then jump back. In some ways we’ve forgotten how to tell a story. A long time ago stories would have endings. There would be a beginning, a middle and an end. It seems that not ending a story is a strong trend that shows no sign of ending. The general idea is to leave the ending open for a sequel or to use false endings that leads to another battle or conflict. Sometimes the story can spend so much time tying up loose ends that it can feel like there are ten to twenty endings. I have a deep seeded love for stories with a clear ending. It makes me smile when a story can be told without tricks and false endings. When a non-linear story helps reveals characters or in some way reveals what the story is truly about I also smile. There is a tendency to use a non-linear story as a stylistic choice, instead of using it for a narrative purpose. As wonderful as a properly constructed non-linear story can be...Please give me a beginning, a middle and an end. When we’ve reached the cathartic payoff please end the story.