This post is sponsored by Pearl Whites, because you’ll be smiling instead of grieving by the end.
I watched casualty, it had a funeral of one of the main characters on it. It was quite ancient Egyptian, with Ethan giving cal all the things he needed for the afterlife, like his phone, snacks and condoms – “the final trip he didn’t prepare for, as with everything”. Romeo and Juliet wanted a suicide pact ending, and Juliet is laid out in all her beauty to see while asleep. Juliet’s narcoleptic trance is very sleeping beauty, only with a tragic end. I personally hate when a story has no closure; A Series of Unfortunate Events ends in such and underwhelming way when Violet, Claus, Sunny and Beatrice sailing away. There are many endings in life; graduation, retirement, breakups, the posting of a letter and getting on a team home from a trip. When I left my job, it felt like I had died in loving memory. But one ending we don’t talk about is death – and even less is thought of “character death”. When the book closes and the ink runs out, does the character and their narrative die with only a legacy? There are 3 options:
- The character never existed and so can’t die.
- The character is immortal and so will live forever
- The character lives on in the reader’s imagination
Who’s to say which is the most valid option? Postmodern and reader-response theory believe that 3 is a believable option because the character is not necessarily dictated by the author. Some writers leave a story open-ended so readers can decide for themselves, whilst others provide multiple ending – Margaret Atwood in Endings has a multiple choice selection. Wayne and Garth in Wayne’s world break the fourth wall by replaying the endings with 3 versions of events. This is a departure from fairy tales, where they all live happily ever after. You don’t need to be religious to believe in life after a story/death, it’s merely about perspective. Here are a few tips on writing a story’s ending:
- Reach a satisfying conclusion for the reader
- Keep the ending related to the story sequence
- Do not write “the end”
- Resolve the main conflict of your story
- Show character growth and a new equilibrium
- Ending the story with it all being a dream is a cop out
- Have a moral or lesson in the story
- The ending does not have to be happy
This blog is educational; learning does not stop once you leave education. The difference between going to school and going to university is that sometimes the lecturers learn something as well. And the way I am going to end this big is by encouraging you all to comment down below what you think makes a good ending.