Writing Prompt #2


This comes from the last session I took from my workshop weekend. This session looked at endings. We talked briefly about what kinds of endings were out there (twist, character gets what she wants, character doesn’t get what she wants, character arc, etc.). We didn’t talk much about what made an ending satisfying (just agreed that we liked satisfying endings), or when to use what kind of ending…when is a twist most effective, etc. Again, this is all subjective.

Anyway, we could write the end to our story (um, what I need help on) or write the writing prompt (which is SO much easier). We were given a plot synopsis and told to come up with a few sentence ending. After people shared, she said that the synopsis was from an actual short story (Island of the Lost Boys by Adam Prince), which I will now have to go out and read…


The main character, Ted, is a 30-year-old who teaches high school. He is somewhat awkward and unsure of himself. His sexuality is never clearly spelled out, but he develops an infatuation with one of his male students. One day he keeps the boy after school for detention. They play video games together and Ted suddenly leans in and kisses the boy. the boy runs our, and the teacher gets in his car and drives seven hours to his mother’s hour, where he lived as a child. He stays for a week (never calling the school to explain), and reflects on his childhood, looking back fondly at a friendship with a boy named Mike. Mike is now a successful businessman, married to a lovely woman, with two children. Ted wishes he had Mike’s life. On the 5th day after he flees, the school finally tracks him down — he gets a phone call from the principle at his mother’s house.

*Warning, Cam goes dark* To write the end, I had to think about what the next logical steps in the story were: he gets fired, he gets sued, his mom kicks him out (I’m still waffling on this). And this is what I came up with as the end scene:

Standing in the middle of Mike’s lawn, Ted was mesmerized by the glittering lights of the Christmas tree behind the picture window. Mike’s wife, a slim blonde, completed the picture perfect life as she walked across the scene with a tray of cookies, offering them to guests. A picture behind glass of what he could never have.

Snow continued to fall, covering Ted’s boot tracks.

He cocked his father’s gun, the one he found buried in the back of the closet, and pointed the barrel to his temple.

OK, so that’s a bit dark. Others in the session were much nicer. Ted went to therapy. The school swept everything under the rug and Ted comes out of the closet. The kid never told anyone…


3 thoughts on “Writing Prompt #2

  1. bethfinke

    Okay, I have a real-life story to add to your ending to make it even darker. Will email you privately, not sure I want to share this one with all your blog readers!

  2. You know, I like your ending. It’s not safe, and it’s exactly the kind of ending I would find satisfying.

    Maybe I’m too sheltered, but wth kind of promt is that????

    I’m reading a book called Lost Memory of Skin – have you heard of it? It’s kind of a social study that deals with pediphilia. Sounds crzy and morbid and horrifying, but it’s not. The reviews on where so outstanding that I had to read it, and I’m quite hooked. Recommended!

    • Thank you.

      I’ve never had a prompt to write an ending before so I have nothing to compare this one too. It was an interesting exercise, but I think it’s a bit easier to write someone else’s ending.

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