Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wednesday - On Plot - Endings

Today let's look at knowing when to stop. Some people have trouble ending their stories but others find revision to be the end of their story and they revise until eternity. This is dawdling and sometimes it's not because the ending isn't satisfactory or even totally happy. What they are striving for is perfection and perfection doesn't happen. Each story when it's finished and several revisions are done should be the best it can be at that time. Spending months going over word by word and substituting a perfectly good word for a perfectly good word is dawdling.

Another way of avoiding the finish line is to be dangling bait for a sequel. Someetimes a sequel is called for and this must be planned for during the story, not thrown in at the end to keep the writer from writing The End. I've written sequels but the ending of the book satisfies the characters and the end suggests there may be another book but there has to be an end.

Remember stories are to be shared so don't dawdle, revise to death or keep writing beyond the end because you think there's a sequel to be written. Make the end a satisfying event for the reader and yourself.

1 comment:

R. Ann Siracusa said...

Good advice. It's very easy to spend too much time revising and revising, including the ending. I get to a point where I'm doing more damage than good, and I'm beginning to learn how to identify that.