Ending

Anyone else had an ending that seemed good while it lounged around in your mind waiting for its cue, then when you came to write it down it just didn't seem right at all? That's the problem I've just come up against. Even for a fantasy story, it seems absurd now it's on paper.

I need to get my thinking cap on, if I can find where I left it . . .

Comments

  • I often have to change the ending when I get there. I think it's because as we write we learn more about the characters and situation.
  • That would make an interesting short story comp - provide an ending and ask that a short story be written to suit it.
  • WM does this in their competitions from time to time. I entered one a while back where you had to use the sentence they had provided as the ending to your story. Gets you thinking!

    Good luck with finding that ending, TS.
  • It's always the endings I seem to struggle with
  • Sometimes you just need to step back from it for a day or two...Good luck.
  • edited January 2013
    [quote= Debby]WM does this in their competitions from time to time. [/quote]

    Ah, I don't read it - just look at the pictures.
  • edited January 2013
    [quote=Baggy Books]That would make an interesting short story comp - provide an ending and ask that a short story be written to suit it.[/quote]

    Yes, I entered one of those. The end sentence was dreadful =

    ... and they tell us not to use cliches!
    The minute I knew I hadn't won that comp I changed the ending for a much better one.

    To answer TS's question - as I write novels it's rare that I reach an ending at all, but conversations are equally difficult.
    Sometimes I say them out loud to get them right - maybe you could read your trial endings aloud?
  • [quote=Lizy]The end sentence was dreadful[/quote]

    Same here. It was ‘What kind of a fool believes in ghosts?'. Cheesy, but I was amazed when I got 2nd place, and over the moon as it was my second attempt at a short story. I've not reached those heady heights since though. :)

    Still, it really spurred me on to keep writing and I've had a couple of short/longlistings since. Got to keep scribbling...

    [quote=Lizy]The minute I knew I hadn't won that comp I changed the ending for a much better one.[/quote]

    Good on you. That's what I find good about competition prompts, it inspires me to write and can always be tweaked for something else. Are you going to send it somewhere else?

    Sorry TS - hijacking the thread. Once again, wishing you lots of luck with the ending. Great idea to read it out loud. Maybe you could try it out on someone else? They might not think it's so absurd after all, or they may come up with a fantastic suggestion!
  • Thanks for the good luck wishes.

    Baggy, I've written stories that way before. A snatch of narrative and/or dialogue comes to me, which sounds like an ending, and the rest of the story stems from that. Not to say I don't change the ending to some extent when I get there because the characters take over, but it isn't usually too much of a departure. Unlike this situation.

    I think I'm on my way to sussing out a better ending, though.
  • [quote=Lizy][/quote]


    Why? Had she just trodden on a disused mattress?
  • [quote=Tristram_Shandy]it just didn't seem right at all?[/quote]

    Every time. I think I revise the endings more than any other part of the book.

    What I decide now is where I want my characters to end up when I've finished the story. I do that first. They still have to pass through plenty of twists and turns to get there.
  • It's a notorious fact that writers have more hair-pulling, effing and jeffing and mini breakdowns over the ending of their stories than writing the entire work.

    I'm lucky that I've not had too many problems with endings - I know roughtly how I want them to end, but the preceding narrative dictates where and when and usually how. And if it isn't quite right, then I tweak it until it is.
  • Another problem I have with endings is my daughter.
    Every time she reads one of my stories, whether it's a novel or a short story, she always wants to know what happens to so-and-so afterwards.
    She's been like that since a child so now I just tell her, "Make it up for yourself," but I know what she means.
    It is difficult to leave your characters.
  • Red, I often rewrite endings. A tweak or a complete change because the characters have grown, or the plot took an unforeseen direction. But this one just seemed like complete nonsense once it was out of my head and on the page. It's an odd feeling.

    Lizy, I've had that same question asked me. I can think of one instance where I do know what happens to a main character after the end, although I'd never write a sequel ;)
  • I'm progressing to a second draft today. I'll see what the new ending looks like when I get there.
  • Good luck TS - hope you find an ending that fits.
  • [quote=Tristram_Shandy]I often rewrite endings. A tweak or a complete change because the characters have grown, or the plot took an unforeseen direction. But this one just seemed like complete nonsense once it was out of my head and on the page. It's an odd feeling[/quote]

    That's what happens when writing doesn't always go our own way. It always feels odd.
  • Interviewer: How much rewriting do you do?

    Hemingway: It depends, I re-wrote the ending to "Farewell to Arms," the last page of it, thirty-nine times before I was satisfied.

    Interviewer: Was there some technical problem there? What was it that had stumped you?

    Hemingway: Getting the words right.
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