1. TheSerpantofNar
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    TheSerpantofNar Active Member

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    Ending.

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by TheSerpantofNar, Feb 6, 2013.

    I am having trouble writing the ending for my short story which is a American gothic/Southern gothic/horror/dark comedy short story. I just really don't know how I am going to end it :confused:
     
  2. cswillson
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    cswillson Member

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    I use a period.
     
  3. PenTrotter
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    PenTrotter Member

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    Think of it as writing a last summary paragraph for a school report. Tie things up, but still elave the reader hanging a bit. Just enough so that they're satisfied with the ending and the book itself
     
  4. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Are you asking for help? Because if you are, you're going to have to give us a lot more information than this.
     
  5. Bimber
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    Bimber Contributing Member

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    Well you didnt mention what exactly is your problem with the ending?
    are your characters all over the place and you dont know how to tie them up?
    Is your MC in a corner?
    Does your story miss the climax at the end?
    You dont know how to rap things up so they make sense at the end?

    Ask yourself all sort of question and find out what is it that your missing for the ending
    If something is missing go back and add that thing to make it work, try and think how the reader will guess the ending and come up with couple of ideas than toss them aside and challenge yourself to come up with a better one so that your ending is'nt obvious in middle of the story

    hope this helps
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    That's like having a design for a bridge, except not knowing where the far end of the span is supposed to be. No idea of the altitude, stability of the ground, etc. at the far end..

    Things that impact the entire design of the bridge.
     
  7. TheSerpantofNar
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    TheSerpantofNar Active Member

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    Well its more the how Im supposed to end in a good way I could go my usual route and whack the character. But I don't know I want to do something else other then that my stuff tends to end badly. So Im wondering should I change it up?
     
  8. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    When you say that you're not sure how to end it, do you mean the plot/story itself, or simply how to write the ending?

    Edit: you could simply look at what would satisfy you for an ending.

    The first thing I wrote for my current novel was a small passage that is now near the middle. The second thing I wrote was the end. I've been editing it for years and the start and middle change all the time, but the end remains solid and grounded. It is my target and has been critical in developing the rest of the story. And luckily I'm still completely satisfied with the ending.

    As Cog said, the ending is important to the design of the story, and everything should be building towards it. And while the end doesn't always need to be written early on, it should still be thought about while writing. I'm surprised you didn't know where the story was going because that would normally impact everything that comes before it. Not always, of coarse. You can go on a wild adventure and see where it ends, but that's when you run into trouble.
     
  9. TheSerpantofNar
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    TheSerpantofNar Active Member

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    Well I have had a couple of idea's on how to end the short story but I just want the correct ending. If that makes any sense I guess
     
  10. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    It makes sense, but (and this will sound like an incredibly cliche and patronising comment, but it isn't) the right ending is the one that you're the most satisfied with personally. Write the ideas you have and see how they fit, for you.
     
  11. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Write a couple of endings and see which one you think works best. You should also take a look at a few short stories and get ideas from that. There are several ways to end a story without killing a character.
     
  12. Xatron
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    Xatron Contributing Member

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    ... And then suddenly, a thermonuclear warhead exploded roughly 15 feet from <main character's name>. And they were all dead.

    THE END.
     
  13. The Tourist
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    The Tourist Banned

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    I killed off my lead character. I hate insipid sequels.
     
  14. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    You can avoid insipid sequels by simply not writing them. You don't have to kill off your lead character.
     
  15. The Tourist
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    The Tourist Banned

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    LOL. Hollywood will find a way, and usually it's worse than bringing back the dead on TV soap operas.

    If the story is not finished, then you haven't done your job. The life of my lead character had been completed. He had found his place in life and love, and he made the life choices we all need to face.

    On the whole, he didn't die. He escaped.
     
  16. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    This is true, but it's true even if you kill your character off. Rambo died in David Morrell's novel First Blood, but he lived in the movie, making all those sequels possible.
     
  17. The Tourist
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    The Tourist Banned

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    Very good example.

    I booby-trapped my story. My character is shown the corridor of time. He knows how his influence on life is manifest. Try selling a tacky sequel when the readers all know how it ends, Star Wars aside.

    He is/was my character. He has a goal, and he has attained it. He deserves the reward for entertaining us. If I ever sell my book, part of the contract will be my total rights to sequels--which will never be written, by the way.
     
  18. TheSerpantofNar
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    TheSerpantofNar Active Member

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    I can't see myself writing a sequal most of my short stories are stand alone anyway. Unless its the dark fantasy that ive been working on then in which case I would want full control over who gets the rights.
     
  19. Xatron
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    Xatron Contributing Member

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    I sprayed Gatorade out of my nostrils at the star wars reference.
     
  20. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Were you drinking Gatorade at the time? 'Cause if you weren't, that would be really impressive!
     
  21. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Depends on what kind of note/mood you want to leave the story on - do you want all loose ends tied up, do you
    want to end your story on a funny note, a scary note, a cliffhanger? Whenever I near the end of my
    story I think of these things and usually choose one.
    Killing off your character in a story isn't mandatory - especially if you want it to be scary. You could
    leave the story open ended - putting your character in a position in which the reader isn't sure he'll
    get out of i.e the cliffhanger, which can be scarier than his death.
     
  22. MoonWriter67
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    MoonWriter67 Member

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    If you don't have a sequel in mind just tie up all loose ends of your story in a way that isn't too abrupt. Don't use a deus ex machina, they're cheap.
     
  23. MoonWriter67
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    MoonWriter67 Member

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    If you don't have a sequel in mind just tie up all loose ends of your story in a way that isn't too abrupt. Don't use a deus ex machina, they're cheap.
     
  24. The Tourist
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    The Tourist Banned

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    In my case it wasn't scary or that sad. It was a natural extension of the plot.

    The subject came up when speaking to some of the people who have read my story. They know the plot, and they also know that the fate of many of the other major characters is unknown--after all, they didn't die.

    The question became could a sequel be crafted using the survivors. Well, technically, yes. I'm not sure I want to write it, and "resurrecting" the lead character seems like a cop-out.
     
  25. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Hey, ever heard of the sequel to the Poseidon Adventure - hilarious - the Author in the first book sunk the boat. The movie made so much money he went back and wrote a sequel - which had the boat still floating upside down and characters going back into the boat for salvage rights.
    Shameless.
     

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