1. The Backward OX
    Offline

    The Backward OX Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    Messages:
    116
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Outback Queensland, Australia, far from the maddin

    ~ The End ~

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by The Backward OX, Jun 30, 2009.

    I’m sure it’s been covered before but I was probably away that day. So, do you have any general principles you’d care to pass on, about ways to end a story?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Unit7
    Offline

    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Messages:
    1,151
    Likes Received:
    59
    I like to leave my stories open to the possibility of sequels. Even if I never plan to touch the characters again, I always try and leave room for more. Unless its was always planned to be more then 1 book long, I tie up most loose ends. I might leave a few things left unsaid for the reader to think them over.
     
  3. amble
    Offline

    amble Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    1
    I'm a fan of 'hanging' endings. Where you leave the possibility of caryying on, but also tempt the reader to make their own assumptions as well. Probably too much of a fan to be honest, in that I should try something different.

    I do like to make readers feel the story has ended, but there is scope to dip back in because there is something left to be expanded on.....weird, I can't really describe it properly :s
     
  4. Ragnar
    Offline

    Ragnar Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2009
    Messages:
    968
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    The Mental Abyss
    Here's what I do, I let it the stories end on their own accord. Perhaps this is a bad idea, but it's the only way I can imagine myself ending stories, at least the ones that have grasped some life of their own.

    As for the type of endings, it varies, but again, let the stories act themselves out, I don't think there can be a more fitting ending than the one the story chooses itself (through you).
     
  5. NaCl
    Offline

    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Messages:
    1,855
    Likes Received:
    58
    Plot resolution. Every plot has its own natural conclusion that, when it is reached, is self evident. In the case of sequences, each book must contain its own central plot that reaches a natural ending while carrying over the series theme from one book to the next. Kind of like writing about a war...one battle (book) at a time until the war is over.

    edit: just talked with a friend of mine who has several books in print. She said, "Conclusions are like orgasms. You'll know it when you get there."
     
  6. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    It really depends on the story. Some are better with full closure, others are better with messy or disturbing loose ends.
     
  7. Show
    Offline

    Show Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Messages:
    1,495
    Likes Received:
    30
    I don't think any one type of ending should be used. Use an ending that fits.

    With thrillers, cliffhanger endings can be effective, as can twist endings.

    Sometimes ambiguous endings work.

    And sometimes, it's just best to give a conclusion that doesn't try to be shocking. The characters resolve the conflict and while they may not live happy ever after, they live, they move on with life and the challenges that will await them in the future. Sometimes a simple ending like that is best.
     
  8. ManhattanMss
    Offline

    ManhattanMss Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2009
    Messages:
    626
    Likes Received:
    14
    To borrow from your Terry Pratchett quote, how 'bout: "In the end it imploded, and then there was everything."

    Actually, that's only half in jest. In a way that's how I like to feel at the end of a great novel.
     
  9. architectus
    Offline

    architectus Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Messages:
    1,796
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Ca
    The major questions should be answered, otherwise I feel ripped off.
     
  10. starseed
    Offline

    starseed Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2009
    Messages:
    293
    Likes Received:
    2
    My book has a hanging ending. The whole book is about the 6 months of a characters life before he leaves on an indefinite trip to India. The final scene is him leaving for the airport.
    Actually now that I think about it, that's not really a "hanging ending". But it does leave it open for a sequel if I choose to write one (probably not).
     
  11. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Not necessarily. I believe leaving the reader with something to think about, and even discuss with friends, can be very powerful. Consider Stockton's The Lady or the Tiger.
     
  12. Savoto
    Offline

    Savoto New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2009
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Georgia
    I like endings that fit with the general/logical feel of the story. If its the only logical way to end the story then I'm fine with it. Most of my stories have a "The End" type of endings. Everything has been said and done. The end.

    The only type of ending that I dislike is cop-out endings. They usually feel uncomfortable and leave the reader feeling cheated.
     

Share This Page