These lessons, by one of our most consistent FaithWriters' Challenge Champions, should not be missed. So we're making a permanent home for them here.
I have a problem thinking of "endings" in any other way than a neatly tied summary of the story or article. I may be guilty of the "too neat conclusion. I'm also wondering if the surprise ending/unexpected twist (that I have a hard doing) has to do with the type of story written.
Would either of following two examples represent the "too neat" or maybe the open-ended conclusion?
I chose a fiction and a non-fiction piece because they may both have neat/ho-hum endings.
Also doesn't the genre influence the type of conclusion?
The Weekly Challenge for this was "On the Telephone
1) Culture Connection
...After ten minutes on the road, I notice an open field, sandwiched between two rows of thatched roof huts where a familiar scene greets me. Malnourished children stand around an outdoor stove, anxiously waiting for the one and only meal of the day.
Right there, I speculate, in that open field would be a great place for a telephone line.
No. I rein in my culture of convenience mindset where Ipods, and Blackberrys tickle my fancy.
Somehow, the idea of a food pantry makes more sense.
2) This was not a Weekly Challenge article
Passing Through the Age of Innocence
...I cannot tell you when I stopped missing those "good old days." It happened, like the unavoidable passage of time that forces us to admit nothing lasts forever. I realized moving on is an equal opportunity, not just for the young but for the young at heart.
Moving on does not mean we let go of our memories. Their value lies in the inspiration they give us to make another memory every day, to take a small step forward, and to realize the good old days begin today. The picture of my son and grandkids now hangs where I can't miss it, reminding me that together we made it through our age of innocence. They're busy discovering their future, and I'm rediscovering mine.
E-Book - Retirement Lane - How to Celebrate Life After 60
I write even when I think I can't, because I must.
I love to write. Nothing escapes the crush I have on the written word. I'm hooked on words!!
"Let words bewitch you. Scrutinze them, mull them, savor them, and in combination, until you see their subtle differences and the ways they tint each other." Francis Flaherty
Lillian, my apologies. I do remember seeing this and intending to get back to it. My excuse is that on the day you posted it, we went to the airport (2 hours away) to pick up our daughter, son-in-law, and precious little granddaughter, and once we had them home, it was hard for me to do anything but play with Miss Katelyn!
Anyway--I don't think there is a problem with either of those endings. I especially like the ending of the last piece, which ends with a strong visual component.
And you're right about the genre dictating the conclusion. Nonfiction articles--particularly academic ones--often call for an ending that summarizes the content, or that draws on final conclusion. Mysteries will end with the solving of a problem, and oftentimes there is a twist. The accepted formula for a romance dictates that there will be a new couple by the end of the story. You get the idea...well, it was yours to begin with!
Rachel, I'm sorry that I missed your contribution!
Your story is a perfect illustration for the "don't have a too neat ending" bit of advice. You trusted your own writing, and you trusted the intelligence of your readers to finish the rest of the story. Beautifully done!
I'm adding more than 100 words because after reading your lesson, I realized that this entry would have had a better ending without the final paragraph. Your thoughts?
To let it go requires us to sever our gluttonous tentacles and reexamine what we value most: our precious relationship with Christ. This is naked to the human eye because it dwells in our hearts. Push aside the empty ice cream cartons and countless shopping bags. Instead, focus on the quietness in our souls. How are we to remain calm when things do not go our way? Be still, quiet, and pray.
It is in our visible actions witnessed by ourselves and others. They may be inquisitive of what jumbo juice we are drinking or name that anxiety drug because they need to be free of gluttony themselves. This is the perfect time to share your God story. Be a shining beacon of hope so others can be free from the gummy tentacles of gluttony—just like you are working on to achieve.
May you have a blessed day!
Write the vision - Habukkak 2:2
You've got it. That "Be still, (be) quiet, and pray" is a superb way to end it.
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