So I am closing in on the end of my story.  Actually, I wrote it once, but I dislike it enough that I am redoing it.  That isn’t the point right now though…

No, my issue tonight is knowing where to stop.  I have found that I am quite attached to my little group of characters.  The final conflict is resolved.  The story is wrapping up, but where to stop?  I am going to quote The Order Of the Stick (Frame 8, in this case).  “There is no end, there’s just the point where storytellers stop talking.”  I think that is my problem.  Their lives are going on, and I don’t want to stop following.

I know that they will be much safer, and happier, if I am not following them around.  But it is difficult to make that break.  It feels like when you are moving away from someone that you know you won’t get to come back and visit.  Also, um…  their phone is being disconnected so you can’t call them.  Ok, so it isn’t the best analogy.

For now, I shall content myself by saying that I will write a sequel someday.  In the meantime, how do you decide where to stop?  At what point do you fade out of your character’s life and let them live in peace?



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7 responses to “Endings.

  1. The sequel thing was what worked for me with ending my first novel. Not leaving them for good allowed me to leave them for now, write the end, and get on with some other projects that had been floating in around in my head. If it helps even more, reward yourself (after reaching ‘the end’) by sketching out the outline of the sequel. Then tuck it all away and go write something else while you’re words age beyond utterly precious to editable with an open mind. 🙂

    As far as where to end: Just after the resolution. Moments after. Nothing drives me nuts more than the ‘happily ever after epilogue’ when the actual story ended a chapter ago. When the plot wraps up, write those two precious words and celebrate!

  2. I think it happens when you want to let your reader decide what to do about your characters’s fate. Our characters acquire lives of their own in the minds of our readers… then we have to let them go.

  3. @Jean: The wrap-up chapter is basically tying up the last two subplot threads. I could probably leave one of them dangle, but it sets up the potential sequel. The other though is the romantic interest that has to be resolved.

    @Julia: That sounds a lot more grown up and mature than I think I am willing to be! It’s true, though.

    Let me ask this: For anyone that has read Harry Potter, the closing scene of the 7th book on the train platform. Was it going too far? Or was it a good place to end? I don’t intend to go forward in time that far, but I do want to give it an ending beyond just hanging there.

    I need to stop procrastinating and just do it. As far as aging the words to the point of editability, I have taken so long getting to this point that the first few chapters are screaming at me to go fix them already.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Once I figure that out, I’ll let you know. I kinda like the epilogues, but I’m a HEA-lover. I like to end on an “Awww” factor, and be able to shut a book with a satisfied smile.

    I understand how hard it is to leave them, though. Once you’ve been with them so long, they’re like family. 🙂

  5. I have reached the end. This time, I am much happier with how it ended. My happiness probably means it is a lousy ending, but for now, I will bask in the glow of contentedness.

  6. Bask away! You deserve it! : )

    My main character stopped talking to me. That’s how I knew the story was over. But after she was done talking, she smiled all sly-like. I have a feeling she’ll pop back in my head and make me write another novel about her. I think she likes the attention…

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