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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Bow Ties

There are 3 steps to bring a story to its conclusion. First, the plot & all subplots meet & most are resolved. Second, the ending hits the emotional bread basket & leaves readers satisfied. And last, the character arc is realized - positive, negative or no change. Plotting the end is almost as difficult, if not more so, than the beginning. Let's look at some of the methods that might help the process.

Dead End - Make a determination where the story ends. There is nothing that comes after; no epilogue, no further explanation. A predetermined end point allows the story to unfold from the set-up.

Ready, Set, Go - Timing is everything. Picking the perfect time to end the story leaves the reader feeling satisfied. Sometimes pulling out almost at the end can be even better. In the HEA ending, it is implied; riding into the sunset, getting to the altar, kissing.

Conflictus Resolvus - Determine the main conflict, all of its possible endings then decide which is best for the story. The convergence point allows all of the conflicts to be tidied not necessarily resolved.

The Beat Goes On - When the story is complete, the reader walks away feeling that the main characters are still living out there somewhere. On some plane, all of our favorite characters are partying in the ether.

Happy Writing,



  1. I've been considering how to end my story; which of those endings are the best for the rest of the story. I would love it if it turned out to be a "The Beat Goes On" but it will probably be more like a "Dead End".

  2. I just finished the first draft of my ending and I think it fits that last category: The Beat Goes On. Definitely going to refer to your list in future projects.

    Awesome post!

  3. Golden,
    Here's to a beating drum.
    Thanks so much.

    I wish you both awesome writing.


  4. I think I have a combination of two and three. Resolution of the conflict just as the mc lands in a fresh batch of trouble.

  5. Shellie,
    Very nice. Thanks for posting.