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Friday, May 22, 2009

The Last Word

Sorry about being late posting. Some days I run so short on time that I have to choose between writing for the blog and writing my stories. Last night was one of them and I decided to go with my story. Maybe there's no point in posting now when it's the beginning of a long, holiday weekend, but I skipped posting last week to write and I didn't want to do it twice in a row.

I was talking with another writer about ending stories. I usually do okay with coming up with a final climax, and while wrapping up the romance part is a little harder, I think I manage that, too. The part that kills me, though, is the last paragraph or two. Or three. Wrapping up and getting out of the story kills me.

There was an author whose name escapes me now who I heard talk about grace notes. That a writer should bring an image/symbol in at the start of a book, touch on it occasionally through the story, and circle back to it again at the end, a sort of echo of the beginning. I've tried to kind of do this, but with an idea rather than an object/symbol. I don't feel like I've done this successfully.

Some authors seem to end with the perfect sentence, the one that leaves a reader smiling as they close the book. This is what I want to be able to do--leave the story on high note.

I finished the first draft of my time travel story last night and ran into the same problem again--closing out without rambling pointlessly before drifting to an awkward end. So does anyone have any ideas that they use? Links to websites where other writers talk about how they do this?