The Art of Crafting an Ending



By Alberto Pupo

The story is only a few lines away from its end. Now the time has come to close it off. The only words left are The End? However, a new decision is made… and instead we have the words “To be Continued”.

Endings, this is an author’s best friend and most dreaded foe. The end signifies yet, another successful telling of a story. However , there is always going to be that niggling thought. Did it answer everything? Endings come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. They can be sad, happy, tragic, magic. Sometimes the ending however, leaves too many questions… to many temptations to continue down a certain path. Endings truly are the most beastly thing to accomplish.

George R.R. Martin an author who has conquered two different mediums. Is still trying to find his ending. The Song of Fire and Ice is currently stalled but the time to end this epic sprawling saga is here and now. Do you feel he will be able to pull all the loose threads together into one magnificent quil. Or is the bloat of the series going to unravel on him? This will create a chaos among all his fans who have been fatefully awaiting for those two magical words since 1996.

Endings are tricky. If you make it too predictable it may leave a reader unsatisfied. If you make it too twisted and gnarled like something from the mind of M Night Shyamalan. Then readers may feel cheated hacing invested in a certain path and in the quest of certain characters only to have it all end in a most unsatisfying manner.  A perfect ending tome strikes a balance. It answers all the pertinent questions to a certain degree but at the same time contains enough shock value so that the reader will walk way feeling loved that they invested time into one’s work. What makes the ending so difficult a task is that author and reader can often collide in a vision. The author may have a certain way he wants to present his vision and creation, while the reader who knows they are not in control, hoep that the author can read their minsds and satisfy what they desire.

So authors how do you approach your endings? Readers what is your perfect ending?

Please share your thoughts.


2 thoughts on “The Art of Crafting an Ending”

  1. – Mirroring a scene from the beginning
    – Echoing a theme, image, or idea that resonates throughout the story
    – Bittersweet ending, where the protag has achieved the important goal, but has lost/sacrificed something in the process
    – Wrapping up loose ends but not explaining every last thing in painstaking detail; leaving the reader with something to think about
    – If a series, wrapping up the story arc but leaving a question/hook for the next book

    Liked by 1 person

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