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Writers Corner > Need help with a story ending

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message 1: by Feliks (last edited Nov 04, 2014 12:01PM) (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) My advice is to follow neither of the 'two camps' advising you. That is not the way to determine how any novel, story, stage play, or movie script should wind up its third act.

The climax to a story stems irrevocably and unswervingly from how the story begins. The ground-work you set down in Act One, must be resolved in your Act III. As the writer, you alone know whether that is occurring or not.

Don't rely on other people to 'have a say' on alternate endings. When your story is structured correctly you will see the answer yourself. You spend the first 2/3 of your novella building up tension, and in the last 1/3 of the story, that tension must be released. If you're really seeing 'two possible endings' then to me that means you have not stoked the tension enough. It should only have one outlet.

It is *you* who has to make the call: your own dramatic sensibility is what you should consult. What feels right? Never 'over-think about the reader' too much. This is the problem with far too many beginning authors. Write what feels satisfying to *you*.

That is what will coincidentally, make the best story. No one is going to be convinced it is a wonderful tale if you yourself are not convinced.

Battle belongs to the bold.


message 2: by Jim (new)

Jim Vuksic Amber,

I suggest you read the previous post by Felix carefully and follow his advice to the letter.

You are overly concerned about the original ending being controversial. It is controversy that stirs feelings and attracts attention, not a rehash of conventional ideas. As Felix emphasized, the beginning of a story sets the stage for the ending. Only the author knows when and how that will happen.


message 3: by Feliks (last edited Nov 04, 2014 03:02PM) (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) Amber, as long as you yourself do nothing ethically wrong, you have nothing to worry about. You're just an author and your novella is fiction. If publicity does come your way--negative or otherwise--eat it up witha great big spoon and watch the sales soar. You will be in the catbird seat. Any publicity is good publicity in today's market.

p.s. Thank you very much for that kind compliment Jim.


message 4: by A.F. (new)

A.F. (scribe77) | 1779 comments Mod
An author friend of mine went through something similar with her beta readers, and in the end she did as you were advised by Feliks and Jim. She went with the ending that was best for the story.


message 5: by Feliks (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) Thanks for the freebie offer Amber but sadly I've no time for new titles in my schedule.

I'm happy to help with writing problems (this is something always on my mind) but little leisure for much else!


message 6: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Veracruz (melissaveracruz) | 7 comments Stick to YOUR story. They're right. :-) No one makes every reader happy. Don't even disclaimer the dang thing. Heheh


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