Of course exit for X is a cheat. However, if wrote a blog about X-ray I'd have to talk about Point of View again, and I've talked about it often already. If you want to know about POV I suggest you look up previous posts. So EXIT becomes my X word.
I've talked a bit about beginnings and hooks—another word for beginning—but haven't written very much about endings.
When do you know you've come to the end of the story-besides typing THE END?
It goes to plot. Has the main character achieved his goal? If so, it's probably a good time to end the story. What about the story where the main character decides to not continue pursuing the goal? In that case, the character must make a determination that her journey has completed at this point.
The ending must satisfy the story. Sometimes it won't be happy, and that's okay, as long as it is logical. Who doesn't want Rick to end up with Ilsa at the end of Casablanca? However, that ending wouldn't have satisfied the story.
What do I do if I don't know how to end my story?
Plotters who plan will say you have to know the end of the story when you begin writing. I'm not one of those people. If you are a pantster—writing where the characters and the story take you—you may be meandering along and not know the end until you get there. It's part of the process of drafting.
If you are having trouble finding your ending, look to the beginning. Where did your main character's journey begin? Has he reached the end of that journey?
Some things to watch for in endings:
1. Cliffhanger endings are risky. Even if you're planning a sequel, make sure the first story ends.
2. You don't have to wrap up every loose end. Some of the most satisfying endings leave some things dangling, remember, "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn," followed by, "I'll think about it tomorrow."?
3. Beware of deus ex machina endings. This is where you introduce a new character or plot
device you haven't mentioned earlier in the book. This leads to an artificially contrived solution to the problem and can be dissatisfying to the reader. I don't mean you can't surprise your reader just make sure to introduce those elements earlier in the story.
4. Pay as much attention to your last scene as your first. Writers are told to hook the reader in the beginning, so they polish the beginning to an incredible shiny gem. Your reader deserves to be rewarded at the end as well. After all, they stuck with you throughout the story, didn't
5. Epilogues can be effective, but be aware not all readers will read an epilogue. (This goes for prologues, too.) The reader may be left with the impression the writer didn't know where the story ended. If you write an epilogue make it an addendum, not the true ending to your story-the real ending should be the last chapter.
Take time to craft your ending. Don't fall into the trap of getting tired of your story or reaching your predetermined word count and typing THE END. When you take time to make the ending special, you leave your reader with a lasting impression, and they'll be begging for
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Are endings easy or difficult for you? What are some of your favorite endings and why?