1. laciemn
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    laciemn Senior Member

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    Endings...

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by laciemn, May 2, 2010.

    I just can't end anything. I have before, but it's always by force. I tell myself to end at a certain word count, and I never do, I just keeping going until I'm sick of it, and then I never end it. When I have ended things, people say, "that's it?" or "isn't there more?"

    I'm not a planner, it's not in my nature. I hate planning outside of my head, and I leave room to be spontaneous, but I'm wondering if this is part of my problem with ending.

    I can't write small pieces. Sometimes I just want to sit down and do something I can finish up in half an hour.
     
  2. Halcyon
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    Halcyon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi lacie

    I think a lot of people put too much pressure on themselves to come up with a fantastic ending to a story, and the longer the story is, the more incredible that ending has to be.

    An ending has to be good, and has to fit within the context of the story, and has to resolve the major issues, but don't worry about the whole story somehow being invalidated if the ending doesn't measure up to your unrealistic expectations.

    You should simply do your very best throughout the story - beginning, middle and end. As long as you've done that, nobody can ask more of you. :)
     
  3. Manav
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    Manav Contributing Member

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    I have already mentioned this somewhere else.... when I get a sketchy idea of a story in my head, I always somehow starts thinking about the ending. With the ending clearly in sight I develop plots and storyline towards that end. This is the way I write short stories. May be you can try that.
     
  4. EileenG
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    EileenG Member

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    The modern trend is to start the story as soon at the inciting incident, without giving set-up or backstory, or at least, keeping them as short as possible. It makes sense to do the same thing for the ending. As soon as the resolution is reached, finish the story. So what if there are still a few loose ends? Give the reader credit for working them out herself.
     
  5. Afterburner
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    Afterburner Active Member

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    It also depends on whether it's a single story or a series. With a series, you can always leave a few questions to be answered. Your readers won't expect every issue to be solved.
     
  6. rainy
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    rainy Senior Member

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    One suggestion:

    Sum up in one sentence what main problem the MC is facing.

    Now in one sentence, sum up how the MC is going to fix this.

    There's your ending. Everything else is just scenery on the way.

    If you can't write down the first sentence, then you really need to examine your plot. If you can't write down the second, then you probably need to learn to make executive decisions :)

    Endings don't have to be jaw-gaping, gasping, holding your chest on the last page. But they do need to be interesting in some form or another. One way is to make it uncertain which direction the MC will decide, such as both options pose a risk. Another is to make something else a little off-the-wall happen, so the reader doesn't "trust" you will make a logical, happy ending--even if it is. Or maybe the adventure itself is just fantastic and the ending is a cup of hot tea at the end of the road.

    When your beta readers say "that's it?", ask them to elaborate. What would they have wanted to see? Why do they feel cheated by your ending?

    You don't have to cater to their opinions, necessarily, but that might give you insight into what feels flat. Use that knowledge to help with your next story (or rewrite, as it were).

    Just some thoughts.

    Best luck :)

    //R
     
  7. laciemn
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    laciemn Senior Member

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    Thanks guys, hope this will help me :)
     
  8. Norm
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    Norm Contributing Member

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    To come with an ending I've always figured.

    "Okay, I just wrote this whole story, but what is the point of it all?"

    Figure out what the point of your story is, and build your ending to reflect that point. Another interesting thing is to accumulate your main characters. One way to make an ending that most readers will appreciate is to highlight good things happening to characters they like and have the villians / people they dislike end off on a bad note.
     
  9. BexD
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    BexD New Member

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    I agree with rainy. If you have solved the main issue or point for your main characters, you have reached the end.

    Tricky stuff though! I guess it depends on the nature of your stories whether there will be a distinct end or not.
     

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