Episode 24: The End Part Two

On December 22, 2018, Rex went on vacation and Kasie had two frequent collaborators with her in the studio live. Here are the show notes:


Dr. Kasie Whitener, Clemson Road Creative, fiction writer

Mary Sturgill, Storyteller and nonfiction author

Shennice Cleckley, Entrepreneur and children’s book authog

Theme for the day

The End Part Two

dead end road sign
Photo by Dustin Tray on Pexels.com


  • Who we are and why we’re here
  • The topic for the week: The End Part Two
  • Book discussion — currently reading and its analysis through the lens of the topic
  • Craft book discussion — Elizabeth Berg’s Escaping into the Open
  • Famous Quotes – brought to us by Bonnie Stanard, show patron and Historical Fiction author

Segment 1

How did we get here?

Traditional structure says stories have a beginning, middle, and end which would suggest a three-art podcast series. Except we know that thing that straddles the middle and the end — the climax — deserves its own episode. So we did that last week.

Here’s a blog about writing a killer climax with a few basic tips:

  • Don’t linger. Get in, get out. If you need more closing action, consider an epilogue. But the climax scene should be brief and serviceable.

This week, we focus on the actual end — how it all gets wrapped up. The Denouement.

Your readers should know the characters well enough to know what will happen after the climax. You may not even have to write it.

When deciding on an ending, write the one the story deserves, not the one you want. Here’s a great resource that lists four possible ending types:

  • an inconclusive ending
  • a conclusive ending
  • a comedic ending, and
  • a tragic ending

9 elements for a good ending from Writer’s Relief blog:

The unpredictable element

The plot twist

The dark moment

The emotional epiphany

Leave room for interpretation

Tie up loose ends quickly

Three keys:

Keep the end in sight the entire time

Nothing follows the end — don’t save things for the epilogue

Don’t forget your hero — he/she needs to be center stage

Segment 2

Okay, so how do we do it?

Here’s one list:

  1. Leave readers guessing: The open-ended story
  2. Bring readers full circle: Ending where you began
  3. Pull the rug from beneath their feet: Shocking twist endings
  4. Create feel-good lingering: ‘Happily ever after’ endings
  5. Build in ‘what next?’ – Cliffhanger endings
  6. Create complex resolutions: Combining ending types
  7. Avoid cliched and unsatisfying story endings: Ending ‘don’ts’

Here are some dos and don’ts:

Don’t introduce new characters or subplots

Don’t change voice, tone or attitude

Don’t gimmick it — twists and unexpected things can be gimicky

Do mirror the opening

Do resolve the central conflict

Do create an “oh wow!” feeling

How do we feel about rules? Should we follow them in storytelling?

Segment 3

So we’ve been talking all this time, just general writerly stuff. Let’s get specific about Shennice’s work and how she’s charted her writing path.

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