Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Tuesday's Inspiration - More on endings ala Phyllis A. Whitney
There is so much advice in this essay written years ago that I'm taking a bit more from this prolific writer. This bit is about wrapping things up without doing the after chapter where the characters sit down and explain everything that happened. Used to happen in mysteries but I've also seen it in romances. This is about wrapping up all the loose ends.
"The idea is to explain as much as possible well in advance, yet still hold something the reader is eager to know."
For me this is done in the final run through of the story. What little things haven't I explained or solved for the reader. Sometimes this is hard, especially when I'm writing a mystery since there are often those red herrings that haven't been solved before the big reveal.
Writers want the reader to read breathlessly to the end and what I call the "summming up" segment will often bore them. This isn't a good way to lead the reader to other stories that will follow or those that have been penned by a writer before this story. So look at your story and see those problems and situations that no longer impact the "big reveal" and clear them up before that final scene where the hero and the heroine come together, or the murderer is revealed. That leaves time to make that final scene sing so the reader will want to read more stories. Save the big moment for the last paragraph.
I'm working on a story now that much is explained in the next to last chapter and the bad guy is revealed but that's not what the story is about. It's about 2 people who loved years ago and how they realize that each other is what they need in their lives forever. Their changes must be shown and the reader must believe this will be a "happily ever after" story. Working on that now.