Create the Ending
Your story idea now contains a What Section and a Why Section.
Beginning the Ending
The main character must solve the problem. Therefore, to start the ending, use a simple sentence such as Then I had an idea.
Starting the Why Section
Begin the Why Section by starting a new paragraph and repeating the What/Why Statement.
had a problem with
a talking dog
it made prank phone calls in Athabascan
I loved Jackson, my golden retriever.
Then one day I (verb) a troublemaker
I had a problem with a talking dog because it made prank phone calls in Athabascan
Then I had an idea.
Task 2.9.2 – Small Group
Brainstorm possible endings in which the main character solves the problem.
Task 2.9.3 – Small Group
Ever watch a movie and the ending was terrible? That’s because the writer did not do their job.
There are four things writers must avoid doing in an ending.
Don’t just Stop the Story
You cannot just end the story. In our sample story, the problem is not just that the dog can speak Athabaskan. If you just end this story, you still have the problem of the dog not really being yours anymore. Everybody will want to play with it and have it speak to them.
Someone Else Cannot Solve the Problem
Listeners and readers want the main character to succeed. If someone else solves the problem, then that does not happen. You cannot have luck, your family or friends, prayer or the troublemaker solve the problem.
The Solution Cannot Be Obvious
Too many movies have main characters solve the problem by punching or shooting someone. That’s fine, but it has to be done in a way the reader would not think of right away.
Plant Information Earlier
You may need to put in what is called a plant. This is something you insert earlier so it makes the ending work.
Let’s say that you learn your dog can speak 16 languages very early in the story, such as when you catch him making pranks calls. Is there a way the family can use the dog’s skill?
Maybe the main character realizes, “He doesn’t just like to speak other languages. He likes to talk on the phone.” America has many languages. A telemarketer speaking with many languages could do well.
The Story Cannot Be a Dream
Doing that cheats the readers.
Task 2.9.4 – Small Group
Grade the remaining ideas.
C Listeners would likely think of this even though it is not an obvious solution.
B Listeners would not likely think of this AND it is consistent with the story.
A Listeners would likely say “Wow!” and it is consistent with the story.
Task 2.9.5 – Small Group
Create and work a Decision Chart. Possible evaluators might be—
- Which solution do you yourself like the best?
- Which solution will most likely impress listeners?
- Which solution is the most humane?
Poss. End 1
Poss. End 2
Poss. End 3
Task 2.9.6 – Small Group
Create the solution.
Add a few sensory details to make listeners feel as if they are “there.”.
Task 2.9.7 – Group
Create the wrap-up.
The wrap-up, also known as the dénouement (day-new-ma) ties up any loose ends.
For example, in our talking dog story, the main character could introduce the idea of the dog becoming a telemarketer. Listeners don’t know, however, it the dog will agree. So the last sentence might say, And the dog’s eyes lit up.