The Writing Newbie

Writing is an adventure. Enjoy the journey and write the way you love!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

How to End a Story

Let’s face it; writing a story is hard.
We all know that writing the beginning of a story is anything but easy and that it takes a while before you get it right. The part that comes next requires a lot of imagination, endurance, determination and a strong will.

And then after all that there is the ending. And the ending is just as hard as the beginning. But how do you end a book? After all that your character has gone through and everything that you have written and described and thought up; after all the questions you’ve posted in your stories—how do you put an end to that in just a few pages?

I don’t really know. There are probably a lot of ways how you can end your story properly. I don’t know all of them and I don’t know which are best. But I’ll tell you all I know about endings and give you the DOs and DON'Ts of ending your story.


• Check all separate story lines and write down all the “questions” in your book. Make sure that all these questions will get an answer somewhere in the story. You don’t want to leave the reader guessing.

• Write an ending that makes your readers happy and feel like they have fully enjoyed reading your book. A bad ending (I don’t necessarily mean “unhappy”) can ruin the readers view on the book no matter the rest of the story. Make sure they are satisfied.

• Take your time. The ending and the beginning are (if you ask me) the most important parts of the book. The beginning draws you in. The ending leaves an impression. Don’t rush things.

• After writing your ending read your story again (at least the last part) and see if the ending “fits” with the rest of the story and if you felt it answered all the questions and was as good as promised.


• Don’t end your book in a cliffhanger. An exception is made when you are writing a series. Then you might want the first or second book to end with a (small) cliffhanger so that your reader wants to read the next book. But keep in mind that it can be really annoying for the reader if they have to wait a few months for the next book while they are dying to know what happens. So my advice; make it exciting, but don’t be too cruel.

• Don’t have too many endings at once. If you have several story lines make sure they either all intertwine in the end and have one single ending, or make sure the other smaller story lines end gradually throughout the story. And leave the real ending for the main story line.

• Avoid a Disney ending. Not everything can just magically go well and end well. Let the main character struggle, let him learn. Let him have accomplished and lost something at the same time. A Disney ending is great for kids but older readers will probably find it unlikely and unsatisfying.

• Don’t make your reader feel cheated out of something. Make sure the ending is as good as the beginning of your book promises it to be.

Five Endings

There are about five main endings that I can think of right now. It’s probably clear to you which story ending you have to choose. If not, take your time and consider each one before choosing.

The happy ending
The character has struggled greatly and after one big challenge he wins, but usually looses something in the process. He learns something and has defeated the “evil”. With other words he lives happily ever after.

The sad ending
The sad ending is when everything doesn’t go right. And perhaps the main character is killed off (not really recommended but in some books there is no other way) or dies naturally or perhaps it is a “happy ending” in a way, but so many sad things have happened in the end that the reader is left with a depressed feeling.

The confusing ending
If you want to use this ending I suggest you make sure you have a good reason to do so. Personally I don’t like confusing endings. They always make you wonder what exactly happened and leaves you with a lot of questions. But with some (confusing) books a confusing ending seems appropriate.

The open ending
Everybody knows the open ending where they just leave you wondering what will happen. Sometimes because it is nearly impossible to give a story an ending. Other times because it would otherwise take too long to explain everything. And at again other times I guess the writer just wanted you to imagine for yourself what happened to them. Again it’s a risky ending but it might just be right for you.

The ending that is not really an ending at all
This is where the story just ends really without much warning and without closure. There wasn't really a "real" ending. But all the questions that had been posted in the story have all been answered. The reader just has more questions themselves like, but what happened after this or, did they end up married when they grew up? The only ending that is not really an ending at all that I can think of right now is from The Story Girl.

If you are still having trouble ending your story try this:

1. Write down the “problem” of your main character. Which is the demon he must face, the princess he must rescue. Aka it’s what the story is about.
2. Write down possible solutions for the problem (how is he going to save her, how will he get rich, how… etc). These are your endings.
3. Pick the most beautiful and the most difficult ending (difficult for your character) which must still be (at least slightly) plausible.
4. Write this ending. Worry about the facts, the action, the story line and nothing else.
5. Now go back and make it pretty. If you want you can add a “happily ever after” scene, which takes place after all the action.
Do this with all the small story lines as well and make sure that you don’t miss any of them and give them all a proper ending.

This post was requested by KatKin. I hope this helped you and sorry that it took so long! But I made it extra long to make up for it.

I’ll still be in Germany till Saturday and till now it has been fantastic. In Holland everything is so flat and here there are hills and small mountains and lots of forests. It makes our country seem like one big city. I saw wild animals and strongholds and the remains of a castle and much more. Perhaps I’ll post about them later.

Lastly I’d like to congratulate my brother who has finished his first draft of his Sci-Fi novel today! I haven’t read all of it yet, but till now it’s very promising. Again congrats on finishing your first novel!! :D

Everybody enjoy your holidays for as long as they last!

Keep Writing!

Xx LordKiwii

The End

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Kiwi Time #4

Hello everyone!

Sorry there hasn’t been a post this week but I was kind of busy and the weather is tropical here, so I spend all week doing nothing except eating ice cream.
So here is a short update. (It’s going to be pretty random, sorry).

I graduated!! With much better grades than I anticipated. Graduation night was simply perfect. I’m going to miss my old school … but I’m really glad to finally get out of there as well.
And in a little more than a month I’ll be going to England and I’m really nervous. But excited. I’m full of contradictions these days.

On the writing area, I’m busy with rewriting my first novel … which is a pain. And I’m occasionally writing something for my third novel. (I really wanted to focus on my first one and finish it this summer, but sometimes I just can’t help myself).
In the last two weeks I’ve had about fifteen story ideas that I really really wanted to write, but in fear of never finishing anything properly (which I’m good at) I had to ignore most of them, or only write down a little.

Two days ago a major storm hit us and I spend the night with my mom staring outside the window and watching the storm and thunder….. and of course I got a story idea out of it. (By the way the story was kind of big for Holland … compared to other storms in the world it was probably just a small breeze haha).

Next Saturday I’ll be going on vacation to Germany! And I’m really looking forward to it. But it does mean that perhaps I won’t be updating anything in the next two weeks. Because I’m not sure if I have internet over there… and if I have the time to write a blog post. But keep a look out for it, because I’m going to write one about ending a novel pretty soon.
And now last but not least:

It’s my birthday today!!

I just turned eighteen years old! I’m finally an adult! Well…. Officially I’m an adult. In reality I’ll probably never really grow up!
Well I’ve got a Birthday cake in the oven and my grandmother is coming over soon so this is it! Enjoy your holidays everyone and I’ll see you soon!

Please comment! And you can also follow me on twitter if you like random things!

And here is a blogpost I wanted to share! I found it really fun to read and helpful for beginning writers!

Keep Writing!


Friday, July 2, 2010

Get back to it

We all have periods when we just don’t get any writing done. Whether it is because of school or a job or anything else that keeps you preoccupied, or because you “just don’t feel like it”, you’ll probably come back to a point where you want to start writing again.

And you find that you’re stuck before you’ve even begun.

The best thing for a writer is to make writing a habit. That way you get used to writing several pages a day and you keep involved with your story and your characters. After a long period of not writing a single word, you probably find that you aren’t as involved in your story anymore, can’t seem to come up with anything, and don’t feel that connected with your characters. It’s like not seeing your friends for a very long time and then running into them again at the supermarket. It’s awkward and you don’t know what to say.

There are several things that you can do to feel the lust to write again and get right back into your story. It’s important that you try several things until you find something that works for you. Or you get lucky and jump right back in on the first try.

Here are some tips:

1. Know your story.
You’re probably thinking something like “who knows my story better than me?”. But I’m not kidding. After being gone from your made up world for quite some times you may have forgotten details and forgotten the “feel” of being in your story. Think back to some events that happened in your story, or re-read the whole thing (or if you’ve written a lot, re-read the last few chapters) just so that you know exactly what has happened. This way it’s easier to pick it up again.

2. Run into your characters.
Remember your characters or act like you actually run into them at a supermarket. Think about how they would react, what they have gone through, what their favorite color is, what they are really afraid of, etc, etc. Rediscover your characters; it will make it easier to write about them.

3. Think ahead.

If you still don’t know what you’re going to write, think ahead. Try to remember the plans you had for your characters or make up something new what could happen to them next. If you know what is going to happen you can write towards that. This way you have a goal to write them to, instead of just blank pages.

4. Read your notes & study your maps.

Probably every writer at some points makes notes about their characters and story. Some are organized and write them all in one big map or on the computer. Others, like me, aren’t that fortunate and write them on every scrap paper that we can get our hands on…. And then don’t even put them together in a box. So search your room, every drawer, your pockets and bags. And collect all the notes.
Some people might also have made maps of the words they write about, or the city things take place. Take all these out and read and study them. Not only will you get ideas and back in to the story, but you’ll probably get some new ideas and an incredible urge to write!

5. Start writing.
In the end, no matter how much you prepare, to get back to writing … you actually have to write. So just start! Write a line, write another one and see where it goes! It doesn’t matter at this point if what you write is brilliant or rubbish. What’s important is that you’re writing. You can delete everything at the end of the day, if you’d like. But you wrote! You send the signal to your creative self that you wanted to write again, and need ideas .Your brain will start working on that and soon the ideas will pour in. It’s important that you write something every day, ideally for at least half an hour. This way you’ll get back into your rhythm and soon you’ll see that you have to delete less and less at the end of each day.

6. Don’t be too harsh on yourself.
Especially when you haven’t been writing for a long period of time, say a year or more, most people tend to get a little bit too demanding of themselves. They read their own writing again and think “I’m a year older, it must be better, it must be perfect”. With that attitude you’ll get stuck right away. Because it can’t be perfect. You can’t write better or probably as good as you did last year. Know why? Because you’re out of practice! So don’t set your standards too high and just enjoy writing for the sake of writing for at least a few days.
Then you can start improving your writing again and perhaps make it much better than before. But remember, the first draft doesn’t have to be perfect! The story is important in this stage, the language and elegant writing can always come in the hundred or so drafts after that (kidding stick to three till five drafts or so, or you’ll never get it done).

I hope this gets you all back to it! Summer vacation is finally here and I imagine a lot of people didn’t really get to writing the past couple of weeks.
If you still
find trouble with getting inspired you can always listen to music (classical soundtracks are my favorite), or watch movies that will inspire you to write, or dream about what it would be like to be a published author etc. Get inspired!

This post was requested by Gabelafastoe. I hope this helped and good luck with your writing!
I always love reading comments! And all requests are always welcome; I’ll get to them as soon as possible!

Keep writing!

Xx LordKiwii