ookami_kasumi: (SweeneyTodd)
"The story must have an Ending?"

----- Original Message -----
...There's a Short Fiction Contest going on. I already thought of my theme and I have a complete first draft. But, I'm confused. One of the rules says "The story must have an ending." I don't know what that means. You see, usually I like to end my stories with a feeling that the characters go on with their lives even after the plot is solved. Thing is, I don't know if that could be considered an "open ending" or "inconclusive ending" or whatsoever, or not even an ending at all!
-- Anxious Contestant

"The story must have an ending," means that your story must be more than just a ramble of words. In order for a Story to BE a a Story, it must Say something, Show something, or Prove something. A story must make a POINT.

Think: What are you trying to SAY with your story?
Love Conquers All
Greed makes one Greedier
Love = Insanity
Love doesn't always mean Happiness
Love isn't always Nice
You Reap what you Sow
No good deed goes Unpunished.
You can't escape Yourself
A Snake will always be a Snake
Sometimes, Love means Letting Go
Sometimes, Love means Giving In
Appetites will find a way to be Filled
Revenge only brings Misery

A story ends when you prove your point. Seriously. It has nothing to do with whether your characters live on or die at the end.

What matters is that:
Monsters are faced.
Emotional hang-ups are dealt with.
Problems end up solved.
What was begun - finishes.


DISCLAIMER: As a multi-published author, I have been taught some fairly rigid rules on what is publishable and what is not. If my rather straight-laced (and occasionally snotty,) advice does not suit your creative style, by all means, IGNORE IT.
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February 2012

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