A to Z Challenge 2013

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A To Z - The Party's Over

Yeah, even the best of us can struggle with this one.  That's right, today I'm talking about those infamous words:

The End

Since we're on E, it just seems right to talk about it.  I don't know about you, but writing the ending is something struggle with.  Part of it has to do with the fact that I'm a pantster by nature.  You know, the whole lack of organization thing, the "I'm not sure where this is going but it sure is a fun ride" thing.

I actually had a very embarrassing moment once (when I was in a writing class no less).  I had to finish up this short story I was working on (which incidentally I'm still revising), and when I got to the end, I just didn't know how to end it.  So I went all melodramatic and wrote an ending that I was definitely ashamed of later.  It's really humbling when everyone's talking about the good and bad things you wrote and then they get to the part where they discuss the ending.  And there's silence.  Because even they can't come up with adequate words to describe how awful your choice of endings was.  Yeah, it was an ugly scene.

But on the good side, I did learn how NOT to write an ending.  Like to not hurry along and just write anything, no matter how loudly my muse is screaming obscenities at me through the duct tape I've plastered over his mouth.  While it's a great feeling to type "The End" maybe, it's not a great feeling to look back on what you wrote and know that you really just slapped some dirty ol' cardboard together and called it a mansion.  You might be able to fool a few people, but you really can't fool yourself.  Unless you're one of those people who send a first draft manuscript to your favorite agent claiming they are missing out by not signing you.  I suppose those kind of people really can fool themselves.

Anyway, endings are something we need to take time with.  They need as much attention as everything else we write.  The impression we leave the reader with as they close the book ought to have just as much impact as when they read the opening paragraph.

BTW, If you haven't put in an entry for my 200 Followers contest, you better get over there.  There's still time but not for long.  There will be more A To Z tomorrow, but for now, this is The End.

How do your endings happen?  Do they arrive easily or do you find yourself struggling as well?  If so, how do you overcome it?


mooderino said...

I did endings too! Good post. The wrong ending always sticks out and can ruin the whole thing.


Sarah Mäkelä said...

It depends on the book. Sometimes the endings come easily, and sometimes... they just don't. lol

Eric said...

Mooderino - Thank you. You are correct about that. One of the worst books I think Stephen King has ever written was his latest one, Under The Dome. And the reason why is precisely what you mention - a bad ending.

Sarah - See, I've never had an ending come easily LOL. Oh well, maybe sometime.

Anonymous said...

I write my beginnings and endings first, then fill out the middled. I know where the story is going and how it will end pretty much right from the beginning.

Eric said...

Stephen - Wow, that's an interesting way to do things. I'll have to try that sometime, see if it works for me. Thanks for stopping by.

Debora Dennis said...

I'm a cross between a plotter and pantster - probably because I always have the ending first. So, I pretty much know what I'm working towards the whole time I'm writing away on the story.
But, yes, that ending still needs to be caressed into being perfect.

Happy "e" day.

iZombie said...

i just write the ends to all my things... expectations are all gone. lol

A to Z Blog Challenge Participant
Jeremy [iZombie]

Ju Dimello said...

It's a tooth pulling for sure ! If I get to the "End" it means my story is worth salvageable since I edit as I write.. Hence it's slow going!

Following you from A-Z challenge!

Bz said...

I'm more of a reader, so I'm the one that enjoys your hard work, and loves unexpected endings ;) Great post! Somewhat different than all the E's I've read so far! Thank you!

Eric said...

Debora - Thank you. The more I think about it, I probably should figure out an ending before I start writing. Part of me however, worries that it'll take all the fun away.

iZombie - Hey, thanks for stopping by. I need to head over to your blog to check out your posts during this fun challenge.

Ju - I know what you mean. I am slowly training myself not to edit as I write, but it's rough.

Bz - Well thank you very much. I honestly don't have a plan when I sit down to write my posts, so it's usually unexpected to me too LOL.

DEZMOND said...

it would be nice reading a book which starts from the end and finishes with the beginning :) Like the new film MELANCHOLIA which I write about today over at HSPY :)

Matt Conlon said...

I'm one of those folks who writes, but can't finish a thought, let alone a whole story... Thus, I've never had to fumble with an ending... Perhaps one day.