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blog From First Word to Last, Part 2: Endings

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by Black Dragon, Jun 9, 2019.

  1. Caged Maiden

    Caged Maiden Staff Article Team

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    Caged Maiden submitted a new blog post:

    From First Word to Last, Part 2: Endings
    by A. Howitt

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    This is Part 2 in this series. Part 1 addressed how to write beginnings.

    If beginnings are important, endings are doubly so. From the first line of a story each word, each scene is driving the reader toward an eventual specific point. Predetermined, concrete, the ending is in place before the reader even knows the character. It doesn’t change. The reader cannot alter their course. Whatever has been preordained shall come to pass. So, how can you create an ending that will make a reader crave more?

    In the End

    There’s loads of different ways to end a story. Sometimes a story calls for a typical “happily ever after”, “bittersweet”, or “tragedy”; sometimes an ending sets up a sequel or series and some things won’t be resolved; and other times a story requires a special kind of ending that breaks some rules, like the not really recommended “it was all a dream”. A story’s ending is everything after the Act 3 Climax, and its job is to wrap up loose ends, complete the character’s arc, and show how life will be different with the antagonistic force defeated.

    To satisfy a reader, it’s important that an ending address questions the story raised. Not every little thing needs to be hashed out in great detail, but any secondary characters with unresolved subplots need to be dealt with,...
    Continue reading the Original Blog Post.
     
  2. Caged Maiden

    Caged Maiden Staff Article Team

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    Sopranos! Oh yeah. What happened there?

    Thanks for the comment! Wrapping things up is so important, and yet we sometimes can't fight the urge to leave things a mystery. It's a breach of trust. Some people will tolerate it on occasion, but most will find it frustrating and uncomfortable, and they'll be upset for long time after a bad ending.
     
    Black Dragon likes this.
  3. Black Dragon

    Black Dragon Staff Administrator

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    I think that the ending of the Lost TV series was a major disappointment. While it did a great job of tying up character arcs, it left many crucial questions unanswered... especially regarding the nature and origins of the mysterious island. I, like most viewers, believed that an explanation was forthcoming, and spent hours speculating as to what it would be. When no explanation was given, we felt cheated.
     
  4. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

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    'mysterious magical places need to remain mysterious and magical' about sums it up.
     
  5. Black Dragon

    Black Dragon Staff Administrator

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    Yes, that was how the writers of Lost left it. They kept they mystery in the "mystery box." That frustrated me, because I was under the impression that the mystery was a puzzle, and many of us were trying to solve it.

    It's kind of like watching a murder mystery, and at the end the killer is never discovered. Instead, the detective shrugs and says "oh well, we can't know everything."
     
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