ENDINGS. Philip Lopate in To Show and To Tell talks about a typology of endings. Here are the kinds that he mentions. This is a summarized list and paraphrased in some cases by me. My travel writing group that meets every two weeks, discussed this list in our last Zoom time together. We are eager to use this list and see where it takes us in add the power and punch of a satisfying ending. Join us in discussing these through this blog post.
Step #1: Identify the type of ending you have used in one of your last stories.
- An image (metaphorical or real)
- A pithy saying in a clever or humorous way
- A line of dialogue
- A joke (use this one with care)
- A question
- A quote
- An ellipsis (…)
- A return of a refrain or a different spin on the phrase
- A new insight
- A resolve
- A sigh, a shrug, a sudden mood change
- A platitude, ONLY IF it is humorous or non-preachy
- A summary in the form of a series of semicolons
- Restating conflicting elements (ideas, images, thoughts, etc.) and how to live with them
Step 2: Develop multiple endings to your next story by trying several of these types of endings.
Step 3: Choose three of your favorite endings you have written. Think through those and select the most impactful for your story.
Step 4: Add to these types of endings overtime from your own experience and from your reading of others work.
Which ones have you used? Which ones would you like to use in the future? Which ones have you added to this list? I’m curious to learn what you think about the types of endings to our stories.