Please Kill Me,
Greetings and happy Thursday my gang of pencil-wielding demagogues. As promised, today will conclude my irreverently long post about writing endings (Hazah!)- tomorrow we’ll get into -titles (NOOOOO!!!!), just kidding – at least I am now that you’ve hurt my feelings – *crocodile tears*.
Anyway, though I hate regurgitating old posts, yesterday’s ended a little abruptly -so before we begin- here’s the beginning-
3.) WRAP IT UP!- You’ve been telling this story for a reason, now it’s time for the big pay off. Never avoid this by adding some random third party or weird extraterrestrial element (unless your world allows for that kind of stuff). The thing that no one ever tells writers, is that – the ending is always the most difficult part- because it’s the only part of the story where rules must apply. The upside is, these are rules that you create- plan accordingly……
And now, ladies and gentlemen – the epic conclusion—
Rather than find yourself in a literary hole at the culmination of your story, know where you’re going before the adventure begins. I know, some of you -no doubt- would rather spend countless hours toiling away on the page, in a myriad of directions -in the hopes that the muses will suddenly leap from the screen, and deliver you the perfect ending. Though this is wishful thinking, I’m sorry to tell you, moments such as that one come with an immense amount of time beating on your craft. (#NotAEuphemism #StayFocused)
This isn’t to say that you should have a fully formed ending, nor is it to say that you must create an ending and drive toward it (with the diligence of Trump’s hands to certain lady parts), but rather, to have a semblance of direction. When you do this, you lessen the possibility of falling into (avoidable) plot-holes, you’re better equipped to handle important parts of your story, and you prevent peaking too soon -thus crafting a tale that falls apart in the third act.
Having an idea of your ending, not only prevents issues – but makes what you’re building toward easier to control and maintain. Don’t fall victim to your story. Without planning, you’ll quickly find yourself patching up structural issues with aforementioned alien or third party twists, (I’m talking to YOU! M. Night Shyamalan). To Wrap It Up properly, it’s important to use the tools that you’ve presented to the reader. Don’t cheapen their experience by undermining your own story (and as a result -their intelligence).
On the other side of that authorial coin, know when the story is over. Don’t shoot for a word limit, don’t compete with other endings, (and for the love of GOD!!!!! AVOID THE FREAKING EPILOGUE!!!! If it’s not good enough to make the story, I DAMN SURE, don’t want to read it after I’ve read “The End”. Save it for the sequel).
As a writer, you know when your story is done, and you know when it needs more. Trust that inner voice that tells you “it’s over”. Whether it be 80 words, or 800,000 – stop when you know it’s time. Don’t abuse the reader with your hackneyed nonsense. Accept your story for what it is, and move forward to the next endeavor.
Whether or not you find any of this useful, is completely up to you (No it isn’t. Listen to me DAMN IT!!!!). In either case, despite everything you’ve read- as long as you’ve finished- you’ve earned the mantle of Writer. Isn’t that what we came for anyway?
Thanks to everyone who hung in there for these arguably motivational words of wisdom, from yours truly. I hope that my Endings series offered some assistance in your writing endeavors -and if not- at least you got a chuckle or two (Ha Ha!!! wasted your time). But seriously, thank you. I know that time reading, is time not writing, and I genuinely appreciate you giving me a part of your day, (Oh GOD! He’s gonna cry).
*wipes away tear*
“Shut up! No, I’m not!”
Thanks again everybody! The Writer’s Block Podcast makes its triumphant return tomorrow, after a month-long hiatus. I hope that you all check it out, love it, (fondle it gently), etc.
Go end this week WITH A BANG!
Let’s GO CHAMP!!!,