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October 30th, 2005, 09:53 PM
Now that I have your attention... ;)

Anyone here have a problem with endings? I seem to have the worst time writing the endings for my stories, and it's not motivation. Once I get to the end of a story I find that I have one of three things happen. Either:
A.) The story stays unfinished.
B.) I write until the story trails off into nowhere.
C.) I write the end I had planned, but it always seems to fall flat compared to what I had in mind.

Anyone have any ideas that might help me out?

October 30th, 2005, 11:06 PM
Finish it with the ending you planned.

Wait a bit. A day or longer.

Go back to the story and start editing it. A new ending you like better may happen.

October 30th, 2005, 11:22 PM

On my latest endeavor I had planned 3 or 4 more chapters after the point I had actually stopped. Somehow where it ended couldn't be topped by anything else I could have written. For all intents and purposes it was over at that point and the rest would have been so much static it would've taken away from that point.

So you must decide where it'll end. If you start to trail off into oblivion, reel it back in and stop where you feel it was good to end. Just because you wrote it doesn't mean it needs to end up in your final draft. You may just be lost in the woods looking for the 'right' ending. Allow it to continue, but keep in mind where you wanted to be at the end of your story.

October 31st, 2005, 01:58 AM
I am having that very problem. Today. Now. Really.

Beginnings seem to be easy by comparison. I start the story. In the first draft I usually have a lot of exposition about who the characters are and where they are and what they are doing. In the next draft I excise anything which happens before the story really starts and integrate everything which I really need into the rest of the story. The story begins when IT begins, even if the characters in question have no idea what is happening until a bit later when the developing situation in question rears its ugly head. I've had good luck with that approach, and use it most of the time.

Ending ... When does a story really end? Does it end right after the climax, the surprise, when the good guys win, or later, when the emotional content is realized, when there is a pay off for all the effort, when the main character gets to make a cute comment, when they all go home and pour a brandy and sit in front of the fire? Maybe a story ends with the hint of the next adventure. I have a few good endings, but I don't think I have a good approach to them. (There are also a few not-so-good-at-all endings.) I don't like to just end a story, I would rather finish it.

As mentioned above, the best approach does seem to be just write an ending. If you don't like it, rewrite. If you still don't like it, edit. If you still don't like it, rewrite it from a different point of view. Keep working at it until you like it.

Excuse me, I have a crummy ending to rewrite (again).