Posts Tagged ‘Writer’

Six Common Types Endings

Has this happened to you? You’ve found the perfect book, a true page-turner that you can’t put down. Happily you read until you come to the end, and… well, it’s awful, to put it nicely! And it completely ruins the book.

Recently my friend and fellow Humble Fiction Cafe (HFC) writers group member, Linda Lindsey, offered an outstanding class on endings. I couldn’t possibly go into all the details covered at that class, but I wanted to share with you the six common types endings we discussed in Linda’s class.

  1. Explicit ending – This is the ending that wraps everything up and answers all the questions. This ending will frequently tell what happens to each of the major characters, and is usually very satisfying in its completeness. Particularly well suited for novels (over short stories), when using this ending, it is especially important to watch for plot holes and missing clues. Example: Watership Down by Richard Adams.
  2. Implicit ending – If you like an ending that is strongly based on interpretation, then you like implicit endings. These endings are more common in short fiction. An example is The Nine Billion Names of God by Arthur C. Clark.
  3. Twist ending – As the name implies, this ending is unexpected or twisted. As a writer, everything you’ve led your reader to believe gets thrown out at the end, and is replaced by a new revelation when well done. If done poorly, your reader will feel cheated. The TV show The Twilight Zone was known for it’s twist endings.
  4. Tie-back ending – This ending ties the end of the story back to clues planted in the beginning. The example provided in the endings class is the short story entitled The Star by Arthur C. Clark, where the story opens with what the main character’s conflict is and ends with why.
  5. Unresolved ending – In unresolved endings, the main conflicts are left unanswered, such as in The Lady, or the Tiger by Frank R. Stockton. The reader is left to ponder the outcome. Cliffhanger endings would also fall under this category.
  6. Long view ending – These endings tell what happens to the characters a significant timeframe into the future. An example is Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling, which ends telling who married whom, who had kids, etc. out into the future.

The other interesting detail I learned about endings is that in most genres, readers expect a happy ending. Exceptions are stories based on true events or horror. In looking over the stories I’ve written, I don’t always end on a happy note. While I don’t want to reveal the ending to Hope and Faith, I am curious to learn your take. Do you prefer stories with happy endings? What is your favorite type ending?

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I’ve mentioned before, I am a visual person. peperwork

As I do my business development work (writers often have two jobs – one for income; the other, writing, is for pleasure), I spread my pitch points, brochures, introductory letters, and notes over my desk so that I can reference these documents during my conversations with prospects.

If I’m calculating whether or not my family can afford the deluxe vacation or something more economical, I will create excel spreadsheets of the expenditures for the visual I need to make the comparison.

And even though I have created detailed character biographies, as they say, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” and so it is with me in my writing. I peruse the internet in search of the perfect picture of my character, print it, and make it available as I write. Sometimes I can just look at the picture, and know that my character would never do what I was about to have them do, or vice-versa, that they would actually take it a step further.

In my last posts, I talked about using questionnaires to develop character, and describing character through actions (showing) versus narative (telling). Observing people in public places can also be helpful. What other ideas or methods are there in creating and developing meaningful and real characters?

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My friend and fellow HFC writer, Gary Denton, has an enjoyable blog that chronicles his journey of writing a modern-day sea-faring adventure novel. His most recent post contains a must-see film clip for anyone that realizes the importance of chosing the correct words. Visit his blog, Journey to Good Hope to watch the film. And while you’re there, take a look around Gary’s blog for any and everything nautical.

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Why Olney?

When I wrote the discovery draft of this novel last November, I created a rural Illinois setting and was careful to select names that were nonexistent, or at least to my knowledge and a Google search. But in my mind as I wrote the story, I pictured real places. Like the church I visited as a little girl for Vacation Bible School, Joe’s Pizza – the original location (I believe it was on S. Whittle, but please correct me if I’m wrong), and the Borah Lake. Some of the places I imagined while writing were located in the nearby town of Flora where I finished High School. And in my mind, it was a mixture of these places as the setting all along.

So, I thought about it some more, and asked myself, Why not Olney?

Olney is a great place with a lot of character. For instance, what other city can boast white squirrels? Ok, so I’ve learned Olney is not the only city that lays claim to the white squirrel, but still, it’s unique. Then there’s the lakes – not one, not two, but three lakes in town offering up boating and swimming for summer fun. And how about mushroom hunting? Morel mushrooms are frequently found in the surrounding countryside in Spring. A delight to find, they’re even better to eat!

I could go on and on, but I won’t. Why Olney indeed! If only to match the picture in my mind to the words on the page and bring back fond memories of a place I once knew.

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New Picture for the Blog Header

I’m so excited about the picture I found for the header on this novel blog and thought I should share some background.

Hope and Faith is set in Olney, IL, and I wanted its rural scenery reflected in the blog header. I went to work looking for an appropriate picture (thanks to social networking sites, this process took only a day!), and was sent a link to this picture of the covered footbridge in Olney City Park.

Having grown up in Olney, I remember playing on this bridge as a kid. Sometimes we called it the bat cave or bat bridge, and rumors were that it was home to many bats, although I personally never saw one. We played in and all around that bridge, as well as the numerous other footbridges throughout the park. Olney City Park was, and to my knowledge still is, a great park for kids to play!

Thanks to Bob at flickr for letting me use this photo, and here’s the picture in its entirety (I had to crop it to fit in the header). Quite the photographer, I have enjoyed viewing my childhood stomping grounds. Here are some more Olney photo’s by Bob.

So, what do you think? Makes a nice header, huh?

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Greetings to anyone who stumbles across this posting as this is an inaugural post for me on WordPress. I’m creating this blog to devote to my new (and first) novel. I’m using WordPress as I’ve been curious how it compares to Blogger, which is the platform I’ve used for other blogs. So far I like WordPress very much!

Be on the lookout for information on my new novel, but for now, consider this a test post if you will.

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