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How not to end a story?

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  #1  
Old 11-10-2012, 03:07 AM
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Icon5 How not to end a story?


Can you give one example of how not to end a story and say why?

example one:
I would say for the sake of mathematics If I started a book with 5 characters then I will end with all five of them.
That because mathematically I am better off.
In other words I would either increase the number of characters and or stick to the same number. That is only because I like numbers.


example two:
If my book is to start on a premise then it better be a good promise at the end of the story. That is only because I like linear reading meaning I start on high I end on a high.
Again that is how I interpret reading and writing.

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Old 11-10-2012, 03:08 AM
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With a question mark. I hate that?
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Old 11-10-2012, 03:45 AM
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How not to end a story?

Poorly.
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Old 11-10-2012, 03:53 AM
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You all are a tough crowd on here. I've come up with some zingers lately...and *crickets*
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Old 11-10-2012, 05:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Lewdog View Post
With a question mark. I hate that?
Which story is that ended on a question mark?
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Old 11-10-2012, 05:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Devon View Post
How not to end a story?

Poorly.
what is poorly haha?
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Old 11-10-2012, 05:37 AM
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I'm trying to think of a story, but the "Flash Gordan" movie ended with..."The End?"
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Old 11-10-2012, 09:38 AM
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what is poorly haha?
A poorly haha is a really bad laugh.

Pfft. Stupid. (Meaning my response, and not you. )

What's poorly? Your original question was: "How Not to End a Story?" correct? Well, you certainly don't want to end it poorly. You know, with nothing tied up and nothing making sense, leaving the reader with a really bad "What the hell just happened??" feeling. Poorly. Or with a mess of SPaG errors. That would be really poor. Unless it was deliberate.

Just don't end a story poorly. It'll leave your readers with a bad taste on their brains, and wanting to avoid any and all of your future works.
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Old 11-10-2012, 09:45 AM
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There is a fine line between ending a story like an M. Night Shyamalan movie, and ending it like the final episode of the 'Sopranos.' You want your reader to have an "a-HA!" moment, not a "WTF?!?" moment? Capiche?
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Old 11-10-2012, 11:25 AM
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As much as I loved the film, I hate that "Lord of the Rings: Return of the King" felt like it had about five different endings. (Ok, we're ending with Frodo and Sam just after they destroyed the ring. No, let's end with Strider as king, with his queen, acknowledging his debt to the hobbits. No, let's end with--you get the idea.)

Pick a definite ending and stick with it.
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Old 11-10-2012, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by MiriThompson View Post
As much as I loved the film, I hate that "Lord of the Rings: Return of the King" felt like it had about five different endings. (Ok, we're ending with Frodo and Sam just after they destroyed the ring. No, let's end with Strider as king, with his queen, acknowledging his debt to the hobbits. No, let's end with--you get the idea.)

Pick a definite ending and stick with it.
Yeah, I saw it in the movie theater before leaving for boot camp. There was like 60 minutes of movie and 30 minutes of ending.
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Old 11-10-2012, 12:23 PM
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The 'It was all a dream' ending. Nothing is more insulting.
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Old 11-10-2012, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by SeeTheMonkey View Post
The 'It was all a dream' ending. Nothing is more insulting.
Well unless the story was so boring it put them to sleep.
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Old 11-11-2012, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Lewdog View Post
There is a fine line between ending a story like an M. Night Shyamalan movie, and ending it like the final episode of the 'Sopranos.' You want your reader to have an "a-HA!" moment, not a "WTF?!?" moment? Capiche?
Sure but what is a HA moment?
How do I start because the finish is also about how you start.
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Old 11-11-2012, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by SeeTheMonkey View Post
The 'It was all a dream' ending. Nothing is more insulting.
I guess so in a way you have to pinch yourself to remember it was a book you read and not a dream you have just had.
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Old 11-11-2012, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Nacia View Post
Sure but what is a HA moment?
How do I start because the finish is also about how you start.
Have you ever seen the movie "The Sixth Sense?" That's an M. Night Shyamalan movie. Watch it and you'll understand.
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Old 11-11-2012, 11:37 PM
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On a cliff hanger if you don't intend to finish the book.
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Old 11-12-2012, 03:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Filterdreaming View Post
On a cliff hanger if you don't intend to finish the book.
A cliff hanger?
I have hear of this.
I am not sure I like the idea only because the story will become like a soap opera.
Meaning it has to go on forever. This is taking into account that the writer is still around or has not some kind of condition that would affect his or her writing.
Whilst we can ensure a story we cannot always ensure life.
No cliffhangers for me. I much prefer a clear cut.
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Old 11-12-2012, 03:21 AM
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The simple answer is a book's ending should fit the story. TBH I don't think the ending is all that important - it just needs to satisfy.

Unless it is a Wicker Man style ending the only ones I clearly remember as a reader are the ones that left me feeling unsatisfied. Especially if they come at the end of an amazing book.
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Old 11-12-2012, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by SeeTheMonkey View Post
The 'It was all a dream' ending. Nothing is more insulting.

I agree! I also don't like it when they make them out to be crazy and say that it was all in their head the whole time. Or when they blame in on aliens. That one annoys me too.
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Old 11-13-2012, 07:07 PM
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Don't leave lots of loose ends dangling when you write it, unless you're writing a sequel - and even then, tie up as many as you can.

Don't let your characters be miraculously saved at the last minute by some freak act of god/nature that no-one could have predicted. Let them figure it out themselves.

Don't drop anything new into the story that you haven't at least heavily hinted about the existence of. [Your alternate-reality eighteenth century dystopia should not suddenly sprout aliens that were not previously mentioned somewhere in the story, for example].
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Old 11-17-2012, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Nacia View Post
A cliff hanger?
I have hear of this.
I am not sure I like the idea only because the story will become like a soap opera.
Meaning it has to go on forever. This is taking into account that the writer is still around or has not some kind of condition that would affect his or her writing.
Whilst we can ensure a story we cannot always ensure life.
No cliffhangers for me. I much prefer a clear cut.
I actually meant don't end on a cliff hanger if you don't intend to continue the series. I see your point though.
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Old 11-17-2012, 06:19 PM
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That hardest part for ending the story is deciding whether to put "The End" or "Fin." Personally I'd do something crazy and put something like, "I hope my story was worth what you paid. Personally I don't care I got paid regardless!"

They would either laugh and think it's funny, or get pissed and never buy your stories again.
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Old 11-17-2012, 08:16 PM
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I also find it rather hard to end a story. This thread helped me a lot.
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Old 11-17-2012, 11:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Lewdog View Post
That hardest part for ending the story is deciding whether to put "The End" or "Fin." Personally I'd do something crazy and put something like, "I hope my story was worth what you paid. Personally I don't care I got paid regardless!"

They would either laugh and think it's funny, or get pissed and never buy your stories again.
End or Fin how interesting!!
What is the difference?
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Old 11-17-2012, 11:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Nacia View Post
End or Fin how interesting!!
What is the difference?
With Fin, some people are too stupid to know what it is and they think a sentence about fish didn't get finished.
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Old 11-18-2012, 02:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Lewdog View Post
With Fin, some people are too stupid to know what it is and they think a sentence about fish didn't get finished.
Fish did you say fish?
I thought FIN meant End in French.
Also this made me think: Imagine ending an end or finalising an end. I guess that is where FIN comes from lol
Endless.
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Old 11-18-2012, 02:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Nacia View Post
Fish did you say fish?
I thought FIN meant End in French.
Also this made me think: Imagine ending an end or finalising an end. I guess that is where FIN comes from lol
Endless.
It does mean the end in French, but ?I was saying people that are dumb and don't know better would be confused.
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Old 11-19-2012, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Nacia View Post
End or Fin how interesting!!
What is the difference?
I name my chapters and my last chapter is always named "Fin" - aka, final chapter. I don't put The End or anything like that at the end. The conflict is resolved. It's pretty obvious that it's over.

That and everyone is dead ...
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Old 11-19-2012, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Webgoji View Post
I name my chapters and my last chapter is always named "Fin" - aka, final chapter. I don't put The End or anything like that at the end. The conflict is resolved. It's pretty obvious that it's over.

That and everyone is dead ...
Nice, where do you live? Hopefully not very close, otherwise I'm feeling a little uneasy.
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