Wright’s Writing Corner: On Endings

Today’s post discusses endings, why Casablanca is a classic, and how we’d rather not read a story that ended “An uncomfortable silence ensued.”:



An ending is like a punch line. It is a thing that pulls the story together in such a way as to make the experience satisfying. Usually, an ending is the moment just after the victory when all is concluded. (Unless you’re me, and you write two full chapters of post-victory-missing-father-answers-questions stuff. But I don’t recommend that approach! So, in this case, you might want to do as I say, rather than as I do.) Normally, endings are more like the old romance guidelines which said: end the story the very moment that the couple gets together.
Basically, you write your story. You write your climax. You write what happens next. Then go back and cut everything after whatever the final sum-up moment of the climax was, ending at the very moment when the story is complete.

Again.do as I say, not as I do. Got that? Okay.

Also, I was interviewed this week by intrepid agent extraordinaire Michael Kabongo. It’s a more amusing interview than most, because he asked amusing questions:


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