‘m a little late to the party, but wanted to add my appreciation of Elizabeth Spann Craig‘s The Writer’s Knowledge Base, a searchable database of people’s writing tweet links. Curious about character, dialogue or, as I was, endings? Just type in the keyword and a wealth of blogs fall at your fingertips.
That’s how I found this entry in Beyond the Margins. Robin Black discusses a different approach to endings, thinking of them as givings or natural breaks where the reader then hands the story off to the reader.
I like that idea because I love when I finish a story satisfied with the ending the author wrote and yet find myself spending more time with the characters in my head…that magic point where I’m happy the book ended the way it did and am horribly sad that there’s no more to read.
Then Robin identified three types of givings.
1) Endings that reference the future.
2) Endings with a metaphor requiring interpretation.
3) Endings that evoke an alternate reality. Not in the science fiction sense, but in the psychological one. … In other words, though this is the end to the story, the character has a different set of possibilities in mind…
I tend to write endings that reference the future. I like main points to be clarified, of course, but I love the hint and promise of more to come. That’s why I’m not a fan of epilogues. If you tell me definitively what happens down the road, I can’t imagine it for myself. No fun.
Do you have certain types of endings that you like or dislike? Do those match up to what kind you write?