Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Yesterday's Endings

(This is a very short post - it was meant for Tuesday, only no one did it. I apologize!)

Endings. That which brings the entire story to a close, or perhaps only this adventure. But the main point is that they END.

Here are some types of endings:
1. Normal Novel - I don't know what else to call it. That typical, sums-it-all-up kind of ending. The kind where all the details are figured out, all the problems are ironed out. Ex: Heir Apparent by Vivian Vande Velde, or The Tension of Opposites by Kristina Mcbride, or fairytales (Gail Carson Levine's, if you'd prefer hers).

2. Normal Series - That heartbreaking, lovable ending when you have to say goodbye to the world you spent 6 books reading about. Every single problem is generally worked out. Ex: well, any last book of a series. Oh, you wanted me to list specific series? Okay. The Leviathan series by Scott Westerfeld, The Eragon: Inheritance series by Christopher Paolini, or the Warriors series by Erin Hunter.

3. Cliffhangars - Those books where you want to scream "what happens next?!" These could be the first book of a series, or simply where the author decided to taunt you by never solving the problem. Usually left off on a tense moment, or something pretty big still needs to be solved. Ex: Discordia: the Eleventh Dimension by Dena K. Salmon, or Maze Runner by James Dashner, or... I don't know. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordin? That left off around Luke's betrayal, right?

There're probably more, but they slip my mind at the moment. So, on to writing one.

The first step, obviously, is writing the rest of the story (unless you're one of those people who start writing in a random place and expand from there). Depending on the ending, you can choose to start drawing to a gradual close, up to a couple chapters before the actual last page, or you can choose to leave off drawing to a close until a couple pages before the actual last page. Example (shortened somewhat, obviously):

"Suzy grimly battled with King Evil, trying not to let her weariness show. Around her, the screams of dying men echoed through the vast plain, The smell of death heavy in the air... Finally, King Evil gave one mighty heave and flung Suzy backward into the back of one of his vicious giant warriors. With the wind knocked out her, she helplessly watched him advance... With a final, desperate surge of energy she stood up and rammed her sword into the king's chest... After the quick retreat of King Evil's forces, her own men bustled around the plain, checking for survivors and treating the wounded... After listening to her friends, she realized the perfect solution to [insert smaller, less- important-to-the-story problem here] and quickly told them... Her father reported that King Evil's erratic, violent nature wasn't due solely because he was evil. He had simply been mad at the world because of a curse laid upon him as a child... As her right hand man asked about what do with the King's body, she told him to burn it, but with a proper funeral and let his wife be present... Eventually, when everything settled down, she smiled sadly to herself. What a crazy, confusing, sad world, she thought. As they placed the fallen King Evil's crown upon her head, she vowed to be just and wise in all of her decisions as queen, the opposite of what her opponent had been."

"I race along the path, my breaths loud and heartbeats louder. Don't let him get there first, I pray silently. The rows of cotton and wheat on either side of me never seem to end; I wonder for a split second whether I am even moving. But the burn in my legs says otherwise, and I continue to push myself. Eventually, the fields blend into hills, and I can see the mighty temple in the distance. Involuntarily I slow down, every part of me screaming in outrage at the 5 mile run. I put my hands on my knees, panting, and with horror and helplessness, I watch Paul sprint up the steps to the marble columns and then to the entrance. I am so close, the temple of Gregory is less than half a mile away, but I cannot make my muscles move. When he walks out of the entrance ten minutes later, he is smugly carrying the sacred pitcher filled with the ashes of a white lion. He comes my way, and sees me curled on the ground.
"It pays to have a house closer to the temple," he chuckles, and leaves me. I know then that no matter how good of a ruler he pretends to become, I will take the crown from him, or I will die trying. [End of Book 1]"

Perhaps not the best of my writing, but not the point. You notice the difference? Not only are there elipses to show that there is more writing that would this post far too long, but the first one solves smaller problems. The second is a bit more vague, but you understand that it's not over. The narrator will stop at nothing to get that crown and dispose of her cheating rival (that's what I meant when he walks by and implies that he didn't have as far to run).

Hope this has helped to some degree. Have a blessed day and keep writing!

~Midnight <3

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