1. Possibly Awesome Writer
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    Possibly Awesome Writer Member

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    Got a story but don't know how to end it

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Possibly Awesome Writer, Jul 13, 2011.

    I have this short story I'm working on where there's this creature that used to be a man but has lost his mind and become an animal and lives in freezing mountains and feasts on whatever warmth he can find--mainly from living animals he has just killed. He cannot bring himself to leave for warmer lands because that is where his wife died. He then kills a human, who he suddenly realises in a fit of remembrance is his son, come to find him and his wife. The problem is I don't know how to end it.

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    'K, OK, OK, OK.

    So a dude turns into something else that lives on warmth, and then he doesn't want to go back to where his wife died, and then his son comes and he kills his son?

    I think you've ended it. Remembering it's his son, the raging depression that would naturally follow, et cetera et cetera. That's all good for an ending. It's a tragedy, but then again, some stories are tragic. Most of mine are.
     
  3. The-Joker
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    The-Joker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Agree with crucific. If you handle the big reveal skillfully you can create a very poignant ending with this premise.
     
  4. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    For the record, a similar story to this is Sintel. It was the 2010 Blender Open Movie Project.
    It's about a young girl (named Sintel) who finds an injured dragon baby when she is young. It is snatched away by an adult dragon, so she tracks it until she reaches the dragon's cave. After killing the adult dragon, she realises she killed her best friend Scales, and also that she's a lot older than she realised.
    I recommend watching it (it's about 15 minutes long). It's slightly different, but it has the same premise, I think.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Then you don't have a story. You have the setup.

    But don't shuffle about, hat in hand, panhandling for an ending. Take the time to play with the idea and see what you come up with. That way, it will be your story.
     
  6. Patrick94
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    Patrick94 Active Member

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    One thing a story does is stir up the emotions, but these emotions don't always have to link to happiness. Most stories end on a high, so ending tragically, especially if you've already hinted there could be a happy ending, might just be the better option.

    But there is a reason that Harry saves Narnia and Luke Skywalker's dragon comes back to life. It's not all about the result, but how the result is achieved. Lots of people like these basic outlines - goodies stacked against the odds, defeat powerful baddies etc.- as long as we're made feel for the googies.

    OR you could do an Inception on it and have an ambiguous ending. Does he come back from insanity? Does he go on a wild killing streak? The fictional world is your oyster.

    (And yeah, the second paragraph's first line is intentionally silly :p)
     
  7. seelifein69
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    seelifein69 Active Member

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    Take a break and brainstorm. Come back and you may end up re-writing some of it.

    Well if I was a crazy dude in the mountains who was obsessed about my dead wife and just killed my son in a fit of rage I think I would jump off the mountain.

    Or maybe he would just walk straight into civilization and let himself be caught and slaughtered by humans.

    Brainstorm and you'll think of something great and original
     
  8. Possibly Awesome Writer
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    Possibly Awesome Writer Member

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    Thanks all of you, you've really helped me and I think that I have come up with a good idea for an ending. I hadn't really thought I already had an ending already but you're right about the emotional build up and then basically stopping it there.
    It's a good idea about killing himself but the entire story hinges on the fact that he simply can't perform that final act like jumping off a cliff--his survival instinct is too strong and he is too afraid of death. If he could have brought himself to then, given his miserable life, he would've long ago and there would be no story.
     
  9. superman
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    you could end by saying that it wasn't his wants and needs that made him an animal, but his actions ...

    just a thought lol
     
  10. Alex W
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    Alex W Contributing Member

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    Make him evil, a decrepid monster that kills anyone who goes up into his area.

    Too many authors go for the happiest ending possible, I hate that. After all of that, he'd either kill himself or lose his mind through grief and go very dark indeed.

    So yes, i'd do that. I'd probably make him roam into a town hellbent on killing everything and being shot down after the first few murders. Throw a real innocent victim in there too, something to shock the reader. Perhaps a child?

    Kind of sick, but it's to show how corrupted his mind has become through grief etc. Might shock the reader indeed! Though that may too extreme for some.

    Americans are terrible for it in the film industry, countless writers say their pieces when turned over to an American film company end up concluding with the happiest possible ending, to leave the audience happy. I dislike that whole charade.
     
  11. PenandPencil
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    PenandPencil Member

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    Or...

    'Twas beauty that killed the beast!'

    Not sure what the beauty would be, or how the beast gets killed, but I'm sure you can wriggle something in somewhere :p
     
  12. Mckk
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    He could stand staring at a cliff, and you can hint at his suicidal thoughts and hint that this time, he's gonna make it because killing his son somehow gave him the last push.

    But then don't tell the reader whether he did it or not - leave him staring by the cliff.

    A book I'd recommend is I Am Legend - seriously good book and much better than the movie (though Will Smith was amazing there).

    Spoiler! Spoiler! Spoiler! Spoiler! Spoiler! Spoiler!

    In I Am Legend, the lead guy finally finds out that HE, the human being, is now the one who is the monster - the ending leaves him hearing the mass protests outside his jail cell and we know he's going to die.

    SPOILER ENDS

    So yeh, you could do something like that. The killing of his son should cause a change in him, some sort of epiphany perhaps - decide for yourself what it is, but he'd certainly have some reaction. And let the revelation of that be your ending.

    *I don't know how to hide the text about the spoiler sorry
     
  13. Word Dancer
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    Come up with several ideas for endings and work it out.
     

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