The Ending of a Story

writing
discussion

#1

Hey everyone. My book, The Legend of the Moonflower Princess is far from over, but I know exactly how it is going to end. However, it can be a little hard to fill in the gaps going to that point. I’m sure I’m not the only author who struggles with this :joy:

So, do you guys struggle to construct an ending for your stories? Or do you visualize an ending and have to fill in the blanks to get there? Sound off below!


#2

I definitely struggle to come up with endings. I usually have a vague idea, but figuring out the specifics and how they actually get to that vague ending is a nightmare.

What’s helping me for one story is to just dot point the state each character should be in at the end. So X character will be accepted into their chosen school, W and Y will get together, character Z will die a horrible death, etc. Once I have it all in dot points, then I just think about how I can set each subplot up so it can end in the way I have listed.


#3

Nope. The beginning and ending are what I think of for every book.


#4

for my current wip, i had no ending planned; i just knew the two characters, but not really what i was going to do with them. the ending crafted itself as i started thinking about how various subplots were going to progress, and then i considered the feeling i wanted the reader to be left with after completing the story to help come up with the ending, as well as what i felt the MCs deserved. :blush:


#5

I just start writing and an ending eventually comes to me. The rough draft will have some rushed areas, but don’t worry about that. If you get stuck on a chapter, move on to the next one. If you’re still stuck, write a short story that has nothing to do with your novel.


#6

My books fall into two categories: in the first, I know exactly how the stuff is gonna end before I even start to write it, and then the second where the ending is open until the last part and I usually change course until the very last chapter. I have to say that writing in option 2 mode helped me create some interesting plot twists and intense finales.


#7

I don’t always start with an ending in mind, though I usually have a vague idea of where the story is going (I’m half plotter, half pantser).

I usually have the hook/premise along with well fleshed-out characters and a few key scenes. Once I’ve gotten to the first pinchpoint I usually know more or less how I want the story to end, but don’t necessarily know how I’m going to get there, or what the climax scene is going to be.

By the time I’m halfway through I’ll have plotted the rest of the book, sometimes down to pretty fine detail. Throughout the first half, a lot of changes to the plot and to the way the book ends will have popped into my head, often making the beginning of the book in dire need of edits by the time I get to the end. (No rest for the wicked, amirite?)

The only exception to that is the next book on my queue, which is the last one in a four-book series. That thing is plotted out almost scene-by-scene at this point – only because I’ve been thinking about it for so darn long.

The thing I struggle most with is just being okay with not knowing for a little while as I wait for the right ending / the right inspiration / the right idea to snap into place. It takes a little time for my ideas to marinate, so sometimes I get impatient and try to plot things out before they’re ready and I wind up with something flat or rushed that needs to be scrapped and rewritten. That was the case with book three: I finished and was in revisions when I wound up scrapping and rewriting almost the whole final third of the book.

I know it when I feel a good idea for a plotline resolution hit me, though. I practically jump out of my chair shouting “eureka!” :slight_smile:


#8

I normally have the last scene written out by the time I am midway through the book, because I need it to work towards. Middles are my hard part :slight_smile:


#9

I always have an idea of how it’s going to end when I type the first word. The details might change as the plot adjusts, but the general idea stays the same.


#10

Omg I get this.

In my story, I know exactly how it’s going to end, and that is after a massive plot twist is revealed and there are deaths and wholesale carnage. I’m at the bit you described where other things must happen while drawing all the last string together.

I just wait for inspiration to come, or imagine a conversation or scenario my characters would have while I’m at work lol, the. I write it quickly on my lunch hour.


#11

For me, when I write, mapping out the entirety of the book is something that I cannot do. I just let the story flow when I sit down to start writing; this way, I can let my characters develop by themselves as the story moves along. In its earlier drafts, The Legend of the Moonflower Princess was very different, almost completely different in actuality :smile:


#12

This is a cool strategy that I might have to try on my next novel.


#13

I normally type everytging in order and dont get to the end until, well, the end :stuck_out_tongue: but on my latest project I was somewhere in the middle and really digging into my character’s personality and relationships and the end hit me like a lightning bolt. Everything just clicked and I had to put down my current chapter and write the end right away


#14

I actually wrote a whole outline that was super long and ended up halfing it. There i found the ending amongst what i had already written


#15

I actually know the ending of my story. The thing is, I thought about making it into a seven book saga. The first book I’m writing, oddly, is the last book! I haven’t written the others. At the end of my story, the MC decides to go back to the Capital and take the throne, which had always been her birthright.


#16

I do struggle with the way I want my story to end. I’ve gone through two possible endings before picking the right one. When it comes to ending the story, I already have the beginning and the middle of the story planned out so that the ending can make sense with what I planned. Normally, I don’t have the tiny details made up yet, I do them as I write.