4 Things To Consider When Creating Endings (A To Z Blogging)
1. Have you resolved the protagonist’s goal?
Here’s the thing: your protagonist doesn’t need to be successful nor do they have to fail. They might reconsider having that particular goal. They might have that goal made permanently unachievable. But, no matter what the situation, there must be some resolution to the main goal.
2. Have you wound down after the climax?
It might be tempting to end the story right after the main fight, right after the big boss has been defeated, but you need to remember the unintentionally brilliant words of Isaac Newton (yes, really): every action has an equal and opposite reaction. You need to deal with your protagonist’s reaction to no longer having a goal to work towards before you can properly end your story.
3. Have you kept your reaction relevant to the resolved goal?
Here’s the thing: we don’t need to know that the school bully grew up to become an international aid worker, unless the goal was to redeem him. We don’t need to know that the protagonist went on a round the world trip after the climax, unless the goal was for them to get out of their small-town. Do you see how this works? We don’t need to know the names of the protagonists’ kids nineteen years in the future, unless the goal was to grow up and have kids rather than to defeat the evil wizard (looking at you, J.K.).
4. Have you wrapped up your thematic and symbolic concepts?
Yes, yes, groan, themes, yawn. Here’s the beauty of it: you don’t have to analyse them, or even make them all that complicated. It can be as simple as mirroring the beginning of the story, or as complicated as breaking an established pattern to signal a major change. You don’t have to have it, but if you do its a good idea to refer to the theme or symbolism, to wrap everything up.
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