1. musicjess2
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    musicjess2 Member

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    Ending your story/ any advice for my plot?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by musicjess2, Mar 7, 2013.

    Okay, two questions. One general/specific question and then one that revolves closer to my own outline/story I'm trying to write.

    1. When you are developing your story, how do you decide on an ending? What leads you there?
    I seem to have the problem with having the overall theme down and not knowing how I want to leave it in the end. I have been considering more of an "open-ended" ending, that I can leave alone, or leaves room to create a sequal but I'm not entirely sure yet? The characters/theme/message/the "in between" information usually seems to come, but I see as my characters going on forever and constantly seeking out new persuits and growing rather than there being an "end" and I'm not always sure how to plan out the ending to my story.

    2. Any suggestions for where to end my storyline? (or rather, thinking through to arrive at that point where I can plan the ending?)
    What do you think of my plot structure so far?

    Current plot:
    • Begins at the start of cross country time trials to detirmine who will be on varsity. Along the words of "read, set, go"
    • Story revolves around 2 senior high school students, both in cross country
    • The main character looses a family member she is incredibly close to (this will be either her mom or her grandmother)
    • Running becomes an outlet for the character, as well as long walks/dialogue between her and her best friend
    • Additional struggles between the ending will include conflicts with self about religion, choices after college, and (maybe) a boy who breaks her heart during this tough time
    • As another outlet along with running, I either want the main character to be good at writing, painting, or music or a combination of those but havn't decided for sure what her main skill-set is going to be. I do have a painting idea in mind though that can be symbolic/she paints to express what she is going through
    • Ending: with "read, set, go" into another stage of life after coming to terms with the death of her (mother or grandmother) that she was close to

    What I'm struggling with now is where I want it to end.
    I know I want her to be coming to terms with what she is going through, and using the way she handles running as a way to leap into another obstacle and stage of life that she is passionate about. For instance, if I make her musically inclined, "ready, set, go" could be walking onto a stage to perform. But as far as setting up the story and plot, I don't know how I want this to work yet and I was wondering if anyone had suggestions for how to think through it?
     
  2. Xatron
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    Xatron Contributing Member

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    Seems pretty easy to find an ending to me, according to the plot you have provided.

    Example:
    She has come to terms with her loss and her inner struggles. There is only one more cross-country race left. If you want an open ending, you finish it right when the race starts, therefore leaving the result and any further story to be imagined. If not, she finishes the race first, maybe second behind her friend and they possibly make up for a fight they were having earlier. Happy ending.
     
  3. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Perhaps the death of the family member means she can no longer compete - she runs as an outlet but she can't bring herself to compete ever again. The resolution would be her entering a race, which in itself is a symbol of healing, that she's come to terms with things.
     
  4. musicjess2
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    musicjess2 Member

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    I guess what I'm struggling with most, is that I don't want it to end simply with a race because it seems to cut and dry to me;
    Maybe that the character is after something else (such as a persuit she is passionate about) and that the mindset she develops through running allows her to take her passion full-on and not to be afraid or hesitant about going after that goal anymore. The idea of not competing after the loss of a family member might work too, in order to make the ending more dramatic.

    At the ending, I want the "ready set go" to be a transition into the character's life. Bigger than high school, and running races. Bigger than running just another race, if that makes sense.

    I doodle with the idea of the main character being passionate about music and wanting to persue a music career and that running not only allows her to cope with her loss, but learns how to take on her fear of performing or something along the lines of that? Am I just trying to include to much? I mean, would making the character musically/creatively inclined as well as a strong running be too much for the plot and developement of the character?

    I havn't done a whole of writing sorry if these are silly questions to ask - want to get some of these plot elements sorted out before I start the story :p
     
  5. Xatron
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    Xatron Contributing Member

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    Maybe she has always wanted to be a dancer (so that the athletic background she has helps her), but her family was opposed to it and the only one who supported her dream was the family member that died, and she blames herself for it. After her mother's/grandmother's death she decides to give up and follow an ordinary career path, altogether abandoning it. But after struggling with her problems and persevering through it all, she realizes that to honor the dead she has to make good on the support her mother/grandmother had given her and she decides to tryout for a great dance school. Again, if you want an open ending you finish it right as the music for her audition starts, if not you can make it as dramatic as you want.
     
  6. musicjess2
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    musicjess2 Member

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    I'm not entirely sure if I wan to use dancing or not, but I really like the idea of the dead family member being some one who had supported her with her dream, and that idea will help a lot, thanks :)
     
  7. DeathandGrim
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    DeathandGrim Contributing Member

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    For my endings I want to make sure to either leave it open to close it in another story with possibly another theme for the next story or close it well enough so that every question is answered and lessons that needed to be learned are learned

    Example: End of my first story in the series the MC is given a second chance at redemption to not commit a heinous act. When he finally does the right thing he's then taken away by the FBI shortly after before he could reconnect with the people he hurt in the past. This ending leads properly into him being forced into a criminal task force for the stories to come while ensuring the MC did what needed to be done in the first story.
     
  8. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    whack this around a bit more...

    Hmm ...just a thought or two here. I'm wondering if maybe you need another element to add to your story. At the moment the only conflict seems to be coming from your character learning to cope with the death of her mother. While this is a real dilemma for many young people, I don't think it quite gels enough to make a good story. I think you need another jolt of something.

    How did her mother-figure die? Was it an accident? Did the girl cause the accident? Did somebody the girl loves cause the accident? Or if her mother died of natural causes, was there someone in the girl's life who had treated her mother cruelly while she was still alive? Or, is the girl left in the care of a step-parent who doesn't like her very much, or with a father who is too overcome by his own grief to pay attention to his daughter at all? Or maybe he's become overprotective and strict?

    What was her mother/father's attitude towards her athletic dreams? Were they supportive, or did they think she should be out studying to be a secretary or something? And what about this boy? Of course there needs to be a boy. What if you wrote the story from his perspective, as a friend/boyfriend who is trying to help, or maybe is getting tired of all the grieving and just wants somebody happy to enter his life?

    I guess what I'm saying is I think you need to push this plot a little bit more than you have done. Otherwise, it's just going to sink into the mire of feelgoody athletics-can-save-us stories we've all heard before. In fact, don't let her win her race. Make her come to terms with losing, with not being 'the best.'

    Or somebody she's never met before enters her life, with an entirely new set of values, skills, whatever, to challenge her. Girl friend, new boy friend, elderly relative, neighbour. Somebody gives her an alligator of her very own. Whack your initial ideas around a bit, and don't take the easy path. You want to end up with a story that is both compelling and unique.
     
  9. musicjess2
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    musicjess2 Member

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    I think I need to maybe describe my plot more in depth; I don't think I did a good job in the first post, aha.
    To answer some of your questions:

    I think I've decided to stick with her grandmother - who is who I had lost and I can relate more closely to my charater that way.
    She will be passing from pancreatic cancer.

    The boy in the story will be more of a "breaking her heart" sort of figure. Not intentially. But he won't be right for her. Due to her grandmother passing away, she gains new views on religion and no longer believes in god. She is so intrigued by him because of his relationship with god and religion, but then she realizes that she can't relate to him and that she was mostly just tryingto understand his views and where he comes from. Their "relationship" won't really last.

    I wanted to incorporate a creative writing/humanities class where she hears more different perspectives and it gets her mind going.

    The main character's best friend will be helping her alone to get her though the tough time of grieving as well as exchanging dialogue to show how the character is really feeling about her death.

    I have definately debated with the race/running thing. I think mostly it's going to stand as a coping method and teach her about how to deal with her problems front-on, and to keep pushing forward through challenges. While she'll run on the varcity team, she won't be the best. And I want to make music/performing her main persuit/goal and the ending with "ready set go" entering on stage and taking that step to walk into the spotlight where she had wanted to be for so long.

    I think I have it mostly put together now, so I"ll have to start writing it.

    All of your thoughts and feedback have been really helpful, thanks for the questions getting me to think and the possible plot twists/ideas. :)
     
  10. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    No. You need to make your own decisions. Trust yourself, and trust your imagination. The more you do so, the more self-confidence you will develop.

    Select an ending that brings your central conflict to a head, and one way or another, resolves it (You need not necessarily have it resolve in favor of the protagonist(s). Whatever works best for your story.)
     

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