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Ending Fics - Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by Jaina_Solo_15, Feb 14, 2006.

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  1. Jaina_Solo_15

    Jaina_Solo_15 Jedi Master star 6

    Registered:
    Dec 5, 2002
    For me, the hardest part of writing a fic is the ending. Ask my readers - the closer and closer to the end of a fic that I get, the longer and longer it takes for me to get an updated written.

    I'll admit that this is largely because I ascribe to the "By the Seat of My Flightsuit" writing style, and often my plot bunny or mental vision for the fic, doesn't extend all the way to the end of the story. However, sometimes even when I know how I want the story to end, I have extreme difficulty writing it.

    Some of the problems that I have are trying to be certain that I've tied things up enough that it gives my readers a sense of completion when I finish the story. I'm not a fan of sequels unless I'm reading, and not writing them. :p On the other hand, I don't like to tie my endings up too neatly. To me I see stories as a living thing. I might not be writing about it, but the characters lives will still be going on past the point in time where I stopped writing. Heck, that's the whole idea of fan fiction. But I digress.

    The other issue I have with endings is the final sentence, words, paragraph etc. How do I want to write that? What should I say? How do I complete the picture that I want to show? What's too much or too little?

    Does anyone have any thoughts, suggestions, comments, or this girl's crazy to add? :p
     
  2. Jaya Solo

    Jaya Solo Jedi Knight star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 12, 1999
    I find it hard to end some fics because some crazy person is always saying, "Sequel? [face_batting]"

    :p
     
  3. Jaina_Solo_15

    Jaina_Solo_15 Jedi Master star 6

    Registered:
    Dec 5, 2002
    [face_laugh] I don't know who you could possibly be reffering to.[face_batting]
     
  4. Idrelle_Miocovani

    Idrelle_Miocovani Jedi Master star 6

    Registered:
    Feb 5, 2005
    LOL!

    That's the problem I have with some of my vignettes. Someone just has to shout -- "MORE!"

    :p :p :p
     
  5. Jaya Solo

    Jaya Solo Jedi Knight star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 12, 1999
    Well... I think I've only managed to write Viggies that don't have sequels that I've actually ended. Prankside... well, I HOPE I can end that sometime within the next year or so. I think my short story about Padme/Sola won't have a sequel. Yeah, pretty much everything I've written has a sequel unless it's really short or hasn't ended yet. ;)
     
  6. Sara_Kenobi

    Sara_Kenobi Jedi Grand Master star 7

    Registered:
    Sep 21, 2000
    When I end a fic I stop it when I feel it's right. I find it I tell the tale better that way.
     
  7. Inara

    Inara Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 30, 2005
    I've only ended one fic[face_batting] but it was enough to make me wish that story have been a viggie.

    In my case, I grew really attached to that particular story, and I would have liked to have written more. That, coupled with readers clamoring for a sequel, almost seemed reason enough. But then I realized that I was running the risk of dragging it out. Some things are better left to the imaginations of the readers, and if I make it my job to describe all the events and details for them, the story ends up being more like a biography.

    So I sat back and honestly evaluated my fic and tried to see my original aims and if I had fulfilled them, which I had. So that's when I stopped.

    Better to let some good things stay short instead of dragging them out and weakening the meat of the fic, I think.
     
  8. Eleventh_Guard

    Eleventh_Guard Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 17, 2005
    I almost cried when I had to wrap up The Droid Empress because I liked writing it so much... but there was no way for me to pad it out longer without slowing down the action (the last 6 chapters, except the last, were very action-intensive and I didn't want to lose momentum), and the story simply was over. The big questions were answered, the big conflict was resolved, and all that was left was little stuff that I wanted to leave open. The ending that I wrote felt natural, although the preceding fic had a bit of a clumsier ending (in part because I was setting up the sequel with it and didn't know exactly how I wanted to handle a couple of plot points, so I had to leave them in a way that could take either route. 8-})

    If a story's done, it's done. There is always the option of writing prequels and sequels, or even vigs with the same characters at different times, so it's not necessary to continue a story past its capacity.
     
  9. Herman Snerd

    Herman Snerd Jedi Master star 6

    Registered:
    Oct 31, 1999

    I'm right there with ya. This past month I dusted off a fic that's been orphaned for several years. I'm still fighting with the ending.

    I don't know why I have the problem because I usually map out my fics before I start writing, and in the instance of this particular fic I wrote the ending first, but now the problem is connecting everything I have up to the pre-finished ending.
     
  10. GrandAdmiralV

    GrandAdmiralV Jedi Youngling star 3

    Registered:
    May 30, 2005
    It's even harder when you're coming to the end of a 90,000-word epic and people are already yelling "Sequel!" at you. Sigh. :eek:

    I usually know what happens at the end...it's just getting from Point A to Point Z that's the problem. Of course, once you get to the real "the end" part (and I'm feeling this pain right now, because I'm two-thirds of the way through the final chapter of Dust of Empire), the most difficult thing is making sure that the final words are perfect and are something that will -- I hope -- resonate with my readers for a long time.

    But hey -- no pressure! :p
     
  11. DreamingIce

    DreamingIce Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Aug 8, 2005
    So far, the only fics i've finished are my vigs. the two works in progress I've got are being... stubborn. Especially my Facade story, cause I'm writing the second last post now, and it's driving me CRAZY! (not that i'm not crazy already 8-}

    *snickers quietly*

    [hl=royalblue]~Misha[/hl]
     
  12. dianethx

    dianethx Jedi Master star 6

    Registered:
    Mar 1, 2002
    Most of the things I write are vignettes and they have a very definite ending. I usually write both the beginning and the ending first, then the middle then fill in the rest. I feel that the beginning and ending are vitally important to give the reader something to remember. Endings that fall flat do not give the rest of the story closure.

    However, when I do write an ending, it might not necessarily seem like an ending but rather a punch in the gut with a quick withdrawal. It may leave questions but sometimes questions are best left unanswered no matter how much your readers yell for a sequel.

    I've plotted out extensively my one really long story. I still wrote the ending right after the beginning even though I'm over 230 pages into the fic. I'm still on target with the storyline. There will be no sequel. I'll tie up all the loose ends and, if there are stories left to tell in that universe, they will likely remain untold.

    You should do whatever feels best for you but if you are really concerned with no-ending stories, get a beta or a good, honest friend. They might help you brainstorm endings.
     
  13. Bale

    Bale Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 9, 2005
    I guess I have somewhat of the opposite problem. For me the opening and the ending are my favorite parts to read and write. It's all of the fluff in-between that tends to be a problem.

    As for any humble suggestions I can offer, this is where I think it is paramount to remember what the main point is that you're trying to get across with your story. Think of it as the thesis of your story. In this approach your opening and ending generally mirror each other, stating your conclusion, while the bulk of the story is used to show how you reach that conclusion.

    In this fashion the story has symmetry and will at least appear to have come full circle. But that is not to say that this still can't leave room for a sequel or spin-off. Think of it this way, with your story you've stuck the knife in your characters, twisted it, and maniupulated them. With your ending you now have a choice, do you leave the knife in or take it out?

    This is the approach that I use and it seems to work for me, but I'm sure there are other that work just as well or better.
     
  14. MariahJade2

    MariahJade2 Former Fan Fiction Archive Editor star 5 VIP

    Registered:
    Mar 18, 2001
    guess I have somewhat of the opposite problem. For me the opening and the ending are my favorite parts to read and write. It's all of the fluff in-between that tends to be a problem.



    I have the same problem. I tend to know how to start something and how I want it to end, then I try to figure out how to get the characters there. I usually end up stalling near the end. :(
     
  15. VaderLVR64

    VaderLVR64 Manager Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Feb 5, 2004
    Many times I have the ending written before I ever start writing the rest. I did that with several works now, and it seems to work out okay. I guess, maybe not! [face_laugh] Like others, I know where I want to begin and end, it's just the path I'll take to get there that sometimes is undecided. :p
     
  16. Cobranaconda

    Cobranaconda Jedi Grand Master star 7

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2004
    What's an ending? :confused:

    :p
     
  17. VaderLVR64

    VaderLVR64 Manager Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Feb 5, 2004
    My problem is that I always get so attached to the characters (OCs) or the universe I've put them in that I want to go on forever. But when a story reaches it natural culmination, it's time to move on. :_|
     
  18. Golden_Jedi

    Golden_Jedi Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 10, 2005
    One way to end a fic and not be asked for a sequel is to kill everybody in the last chapter. :p

    It seems that I'm with the majority, I have written the ending along with the intro and then tried to survive through the middle part.
     
  19. Idrelle_Miocovani

    Idrelle_Miocovani Jedi Master star 6

    Registered:
    Feb 5, 2005
    I've done that too, but sometimes (most of the time) I have to change almost everything in my ending because of sub-plot bunnies breeding in my fic and changing things ever so slightly! :p
     
  20. Sionnach-Airgid

    Sionnach-Airgid Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Jul 20, 2005
    Personally, I sometimes have difficulty with an ending because I don't want to say goodbye to the characters. I wrote one where the main character dies at the end, no chance of a sequel there :p! I was actually mad at myself for that b/c I really liked the character! But I think, as writers we put a lot of ourselves into the characters we write about and that makes it hard to let them go.[face_love]

    I do enjoy writing endings, however, as I do my best to leave the story with something meaningful. Getting that right wording to make it work can be difficult however and I have a tendency to overwork them sometimes.[face_blush]

    Someone mentioned a few posts back that they have the most trouble with filling in the middle? I find that a lot with my own writing too. Sometimes you know exactly where the story's going but it takes forever to get there b/c the characters don't always want to cooperate[face_laugh]

    Anyway, that's my two credits on the matter.

    *wanders back off to work on some more fics*
     
  21. Cobranaconda

    Cobranaconda Jedi Grand Master star 7

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2004
    Serious post now. Usually I just get started and then think, "Screw this," and just end where I was just for the hell of it. However, now I seem to be writing again, so I've decided to write the most epic of epics. A story that will probably never actually end until I run out of Monty Python sketches to knick for it :p
     
  22. NYCitygurl

    NYCitygurl Manager Emeritus star 9 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jul 20, 2002
    I usually know how it's going to end, but I tend to drag things out and then at the end speed them up. And then when I hear the 'sequel' cries, I usually succumb 8-}
     
  23. 1Yodimus_Prime

    1Yodimus_Prime Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 13, 2004
    I have the same problem with attachment.

    One thing that will happen to me is i'll get an idea for how to pull out of a chapter, but then when I actually get there, I feel like I need to throw in that one little thing...oh, and then there's that one other liiiiiittle thing. Oh, and just one more thing...

    So what starts out as an expedious pull-out turns into a gradual one. So far, I haven't had anyone complain when it happens, but I always wonder if it's the best way
     
  24. FelsGoddess

    FelsGoddess Game Host star 5 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Sep 5, 2004
    I usually have a problem with speeding through the ending.
     
  25. dianethx

    dianethx Jedi Master star 6

    Registered:
    Mar 1, 2002
    Since one of the challenges I participated in had me killing off one of my favorite characters - and it was darn hard to do - I've found that I have no problems now saying goodbye to characters, even my OCs. For me, the story drives what the outcome will be.

    I can understand endings being difficult to do properly. Dragging out the ending just muddies the story and having it end too quickly leaves your readers thinking that there has to be more and where did it go...
     
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