Cliché But True

15 Apr

All good things must come to an end.  Cliché but true.  The problem for me is knowing when and how to end my story. So how do I do it?

1. I think about the plot line. Did I plan a circular plot that needs to relate back to the beginning? Is this a cliff-hanger that allows the reader to make decisions about the ending? Is this a traditional beginning, middle, end story with a logical resolution? Viola, my ending.

2. I make sure I tied up all the loose ends. The characters don’t necessarily have to ride off into the sunset as the screen fades to black, but I do have to make sure I’ve answered all the big questions. Unless, of course, I want to keep the reader guessing.

3. I try to make the ending memorable. While the beginning may make a reader decide whether or not to keep reading that book, the end may help him or her decide to read anything else written by me.

4. I trust my instincts. Most of the time, I end a story when it feels right. While this isn’t fool-proof, if it feels like I’m drawing out a story, I usually am.

That’s my process. At least until I figure out a way to have my mom jump out of my story and scream at me.

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Posted by on April 15, 2011 in Ending


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