1. herminehaller
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    herminehaller Member

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    Endings

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by herminehaller, Oct 3, 2006.

    I'm so bad at them. My endings fizzle out into nothing. Does anyone have any excellent tips?

    I think I'm going to try writing my endings first and see how that goes.
     
  2. radek89
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    radek89 New Member

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    try to make them unexpected and if you're planning sequels for the book, it's always good to have a mind-twisting cliffhanger
     
  3. WhispWillow
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    WhispWillow Contributing Member

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    Oh, I don't think writing the ending first is the way to go.
     
  4. Spherical Time
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    Spherical Time Contributing Member

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    The ending should wrap up the endings that are meant to wrap up.

    I know that sounds vague, so let me see if I can explain more . . .

    The end of the story needs to be the end of the plot. That means, that if the story is about a race, then the end of the race is probably the end of the story as well. However, you really have to understand your story to make sure that you're ending in the correct place.

    If the setting is a race, but the plot is about having self respect, perhaps the story doesn't have to end at the end of the race. It could end as the race is going on, or it could end well after the end of the race. In this example, the race is incidental to the plot of the story, so as long as the main character has found self-respect, the reader doesn't need to know the resolution of the race.

    In a novel, there are probably multiple plot lines going on. This means that near the end of the book, you have to tie everything together.

    Also, like Whisp, I don't recommend writing the ending first. I would instead recommend plotting the story first, so you know what the end is before you start, but the story still flows naturally from beginning to end.
     
  5. herminehaller
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    herminehaller Member

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    Yeh you're probably right. It's the lack of planning that makes my endings bad.

    I must plan!
     
  6. WhispWillow
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    WhispWillow Contributing Member

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    Make notes of things around you and always be observant. That's my advice.
     
  7. Mercury
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    Mercury Active Member

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    Your ending should be a resolution to the problem established in your story.

    The theme of most fiction is conflict and the resolution of it by your characters. The resolution may not always be a happy or expected one, but the problems must be resolved in some way for the story to be complete.
     
  8. WhispWillow
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    WhispWillow Contributing Member

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    Like Mercury said, otherwise you'll leave the readers at the end thinking, "well that was crap."

    A good ending is very important. Unfortuantely most books and movies these days have terrible endings and make you fell empty at the end of it. It took you so long to get up to that point that you don't want to bblow it out. Think of it as the story progresses.

    Good luck
     
  9. gavtheevilgenius
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    gavtheevilgenius Member

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    I use Charts, got a huge flip chart and write the plot on the chart then beginning the middle and end it seems a bit clunky to begin with, but as long as you hit your marks the story moves along at a nice pace. Thats just the way I do it coz other wise I have a nasty tendancy to ramble away and end up with way to many pages
     
  10. eXploiTeD
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    eXploiTeD New Member

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    Your ending should suggest another beginning to the reader. Spark imagination and speculation, and you'll have an ending worth reading.
     
  11. Nexus
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    Nexus Contributing Member

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    Sometimes if you make a very confusing and mindtrap kinda book, then a really OBVIOUS ending catches people off guard. My strategy is to never have an ending, just keep writing until the idea fizzles out....then add a epilogue summarising what happended to the characters and leave it at that.
    *cough cough*
    Its not the best strategy but it works.
     
  12. Max Vantage
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    Max Vantage Banned

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    I take it then then that your story is one of an archplot then? And by that an archplot is one that has a definite ending with all loose ends, questions etc are all tied uop, andswered and definitely completed. This model is the mainstay of most mainstream fiction.

    Others are: mini plot -- where most but not all stories have some sort of loose ending.

    And the other is open-ended -- whereby the story is doesn't have an official ending written by the author but has intentionally left it open for the reader to find their own ultimate meaning. This model is mainly those "arty" character driven plots that doesn't really have a plot or even an ending.


    To help, you first need to identify the story model of its' plot (regardless whether it's character-driven or not) i.e is it archplot, miniplot, or open-ended?

    Then it would be a very good idea to write the ending first but don't hold on to it too tightly; just enough so you know exactly where the preceding chapters/pages are going to end up to. It makes it all so much easier.
     
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  13. AeroDillo
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    AeroDillo Member

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    To me (and bear in mind that I staunchly refuse to do any kind of planning beforehand) the ending is what happens when your protagonist completes the last task, resolves the last conflict, or possibly dies.

    But that's just me.
     
  14. Wader Go
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    I never EVER start a story unless I have a good ending planned. The way I view it, if you're not aiming for something cool, then why aim at all.

    Another type of ending that I don't think has been addressed here is the ironic ending. If you keep setting things up like having your character repeat the phrase "well it's better than being poked in the eye with a stick." then it'll be a sort of poetic justice if they die after having a stick lodged in their eye.

    A bad example, I know, but you get the idea.
     
  15. Crazy Ivan
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    Crazy Ivan Contributing Member

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    My ending usually has the plot conflicts wrapped up, but leaves the characters' fate undecided.
    For example, let's say the main character is going through a bunch of strife in his hometown, whether it's just family feuds or some supernatural invasion. At the end, it would probably end with his girlfriend dead, and him waiting at a bus station to leave for a trip across America. That way, it's up to the reader to imagine the ending. Whether he hooks up with another girl or stays in mourning for his ex? Whether he has a great time and learns to appreciate life, or comes across poverty and must struggle to get by? It's up to you.
    And failing all that, I can always just use it as a cheap excuse for a sequel. ;)
     
  16. DustFeathers
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    DustFeathers New Member

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    I might as well offer some advice, because I suffer from a similar rubbish-endings syndrome :)

    If your work is very plot-focused, then a bang of an ending is usually necessary (Dan Brown is a bit of a master at this). However, look at all the great novels which didn't seem to have an ending event at all, or at least not on first reading - take "Catcher In The Rye." That non-ending worked because it was a character-driven narrative, and we had come to the end of Holden's journey. Nothing happened, as such, but it was still over.

    So take a step back from your manuscript and get a feel for it. Does it need a climactic ending? Or will a more subtle one do just as well?

    Hope that helped.
     
  17. wordwizard
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    wordwizard Contributing Member

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    I like endings that leave me thinking and hoping there is a sequel. I also love endings that make me cry-whether is happy or sad. Makes me feel a connection. Not that my answer will help you any-I just figured I would add my thoughts
     
  18. Onoria Westhrop
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    Onoria Westhrop Contributing Member

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    Yeah, the ending should resolve the dilema that seemed impossible to solve at that darkest hour 3/4 novel stage. Tough to write...but you need it.
     
  19. Handguns For Hearts
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    I tend to think of the beginning, then the end. The middle is always the hardest part for me.
     

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