A Guest Post by Lucy Adams
Excellent stories influence people months and even years after they are read. However, it sometimes happens that a story that seems perfect at first glance eventually does not meet the high expectations of both the author and the audience. Why does this happen?
Imagine you read a book with all the components (conflict, plot, characters, idea, symbols) in harmony, but after half a year passes you can’t recall even the name of the protagonist, let alone the details. What's the catch?
In most cases, the weakest point of the book is its ending. Weak endings have buried millions of potential bestsellers! Memorable stories always have a strong ending, and it seems that such stories live their own lives. Some of them become great and live for centuries, influencing the fates of readers.
Today our goal is to identify and analyze the main mistakes that authors make when working on the final of the book.
To begin with, let’s distinguish three main reasons that make an ending boring and unremarkable:
1. Premature ending.
2. Artificial ending.
3. Fully completed ending.
#1 Premature EndingThere are several reasons that an ending might seem premature:
• There is a too-fast change in the character traits of the protagonist.
For the reader, the shift in the mindset and character traits is the most important event: the climax in the story. And if it happens too early, the development of the character ceases, and hence all subsequent events seem not so significant and not so interesting to the reader.
• Too-fast goal achievements.
In every story, the protagonist (as well as the antagonist) has an ultimate goal that he strives for through thick and thin. For example, to get the woman of his dreams. When this happens, the reader gradually gets bored. Therefore, if you want to change the global desire, you should introduce some plot twists as well.
• Untypical actions.
A coward suddenly becomes brave; an angry soldier engages in charity; a child solves Fermat's theorem, etc. Untypical actions are a sign that the events happen not for the objective reasons but the will of the author. And it’s quite disappointing for the reader!
#2 Artificial EndingThe artificial ending is the most common mistake among aspiring writers. In most cases, the reason for such an unremarkable ending is a thoughtless plot. Note that any narration should be a consistent system that contributes to the development of the protagonist and further change in his or her traits. Non-compliance with this rule results in a blurred ending. Although there’s often is a visible ending, the thoughtful reader will see that you did not know where you were going but simply wandered meaninglessly in the dark.
#3 Fully Completed EndingThe protagonist reached his goals, changed his traits, and finally achieved complete tranquility… nothing more bothers him, and that’s cool! All the secondary conflicts are solved, and there’s nothing more to talk about. These events suggest that the story is over. But in fact, it should not be so! The achieved calmness is temporary while the change in traits does not guarantee a peaceful life! An excellent story lives for a long time because its ending is always a start of something even more intriguing!
Let’s recall One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey. The story seems to be over. What to talk about? Suddenly the Chief escapes from the hospital to continue the work of McMurphy, thereby giving us a new meaning. The idea is still alive; it doesn’t die with the protagonist!
In ConclusionWhen working on the ending of the story, authors should make sure that:
• The ending is not premature and the plot develops naturally, preparing readers for the final stage.
• All the secondary storylines are completed.
• The protagonist has reached the goal or failed the mission.
• There are no questions left regarding the main characters.
• The ended story gives birth to a new one and leaves room for thought.
I wish you best of luck in your writing endeavors!
Bio: Lucy Adams is a blogger and essay helper from BuzzEssay. She covers a wide range of topics, from education to psychology. Lucy is a generalist ready to prepare a few guest posts exclusively for your blog. Feel free to suggest something interesting, and you will get a fast and grounded response!