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Be a Better Writer--GREAT ENDINGS

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.

Moderators: mikeedwards, glorybee

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Re: Be a Better Writer--GREAT ENDINGS

Postby lish1936 » Thu Mar 13, 2014 10:07 pm

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

Fortunate 500

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

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Re: Be a Better Writer--GREAT ENDINGS

Postby glorybee » Sat Mar 15, 2014 10:43 pm

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!
Jan Ackerson

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Re: Be a Better Writer--GREAT ENDINGS

Postby RachelM » Mon Mar 17, 2014 1:26 am

Jan, might you have a comment for me? :oops:

I know you are busy, and granddaughters are meant to be enjoyed!
My FaithWriters profile: RachelM FW member profile

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Re: Be a Better Writer--GREAT ENDINGS

Postby glorybee » Mon Mar 17, 2014 7:41 am

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!
Jan Ackerson


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