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The Nonsense Of An Ending: How To Make A

Back when I started writing short stories, I got teased a lot by my boyfriend (now husband)

” “Well, it’s interesting that you keep dreaming up worlds where people need to die

” Well, what can I say, I got my Dostoyevsky game on as good as I can

As crucial as beginnings, and even bigger in weight when it comes to measuring the story

On the other hand, a story with an okayish beginning and middle can still be redeemed by

Now if you’re a writer of literary fiction, I’m going to go out on a

That’s more a fairytale sort of deal, anyway — everything comes right at the end, they defeat

There are ambiguous endings, where you either circle back to where the story began — with conflict — or

But conventional happy endings? Where the hero finds the treasure and gets the girl (or boy, or

You shouldn’t kill off characters unless their deaths make sense in the grander scheme of the

Far too often an otherwise good story is ruined when the writer doesn’t know what to

Never mind how prettily it’s done and how many descriptions of dying visions and tragic drug

Either because you’re trying to break the habit of killing off your characters, or because your

So how can you end your stories satisfactorily, if not with deaths?

Bring about a twist that’s unexpected but not unrealistic, and leave your reader hanging

Something that challenges whatever the protagonist has held to be true all this time, or something that

Remember to introduce this element plausibly — panting messenger boys bearing telegrams went out along with whalebone corsets

This is different from the previous idea in that the twist was hinted at all along, rather

It could also give the reader the opportunity to piece it together for himself, like a detective

There just isn’t enough justice done to the ironic good fortune technique

(This, by the way, is a plot I shelved long ago as too Iris-Murdochian for me to

This isn’t exactly a plot suggestion, but there’s obviously a sense of closure inherent in

Introducing elements of departure into the setting allows your characters to bow out, without necessarily bringing their

For instance, taking the overnight train to a new city heralds the start of a different life

Descriptions of the surroundings, little details that build up that sense of finality — they all count

So I’ll bypass it altogether and open the floor for comments