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
- 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
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.
- 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
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
Okay, so how do we do it?
- Leave readers guessing: The open-ended story
- Bring readers full circle: Ending where you began
- Pull the rug from beneath their feet: Shocking twist endings
- Create feel-good lingering: ‘Happily ever after’ endings
- Build in ‘what next?’ – Cliffhanger endings
- Create complex resolutions: Combining ending types
- 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?
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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