Sunday, March 10, 2019

Sunday Writing Tip: Know Your Ending

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

Each week, I’ll offer a tip you can take and apply to your WIP to help improve it. They’ll be easy to do and shouldn’t take long, so they’ll be tips you can do without taking up your Sunday. Though I do reserve the right to offer a good tip now and then that will take longer—but only because it would apply to the entire manuscript.

This week, think about your ending and what resolving the conflict means for your story.

It’s not uncommon for writers to have great ideas, but where those ideas end up is often a little fuzzy. But the more we know about how our story ends, the easier it is to plot toward that ending. Writing out how our story ends in a simple way to clarify that we know where the story is going. The act of putting it down forces us to articulate what is going to happen.

Think about your story and its ending. Ask:
  • What constitutes a win for the protagonist?
  • What has the protagonist been struggle with all book?
  • What is the single most important goal to be achieved?
  • Does you story end with the protagonist winning? How?
  • Does the protagonist overcome that struggle? How?
  • Does the ending resolve that goal the protagonist fought to achieve? How?
If you can’t answer these questions, or you’re not sure exactly how to answer them, that could indicate a problem with the conflict of the novel, or a plot issue. If you’ve had trouble with endings in the past, taker some time now and figure out your ending before you get there. If not knowing is part of your process and it works for you, then keep on writing.

For more on writing endings in your novel, try these articles:

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