How to finish your story?

@calajane (1005)
Poland
July 13, 2011 2:35am CST
Hello everybody, Currently I am working on three bigger projects (stories novella sized) and I wanted to ask you how you finish your stories. Because for me? Starting a story is easy, I get a lot of ideas and some of them really work for longer pieces. But it's finishing the story that I have a problem with. I am a member of a ficfinishing communty (two of them) where there are daily goals and community of people who cheerlead one another. I am thinking about joining a community/group that is all about support for writers participating in nanowrimo. But I feel finishing a story is all about self-control and willpower... Do you have your own tricks that help you finish a story? Please share them!
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3 responses
13 Jul 11
I have the same problem. Every time I think I've got a good ending, I've missed a thread, it doesn't have a "message" or it sounds really tacky! I guess for me the important thing is that it has a point to it: something is achieved (so I could never write stuff like whoever wrote the film "Closer", which has no real ending and no discernible message). You could have everyone squashed by a truck that drops out of the sky. That'd make people wonder what the message is. I'm thinking of going for NaNo this year as well, even though it scares the willies out of me, to be honest.
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14 Jul 11
Editors are all mad as snakes, anyway. Oh, hang on... I do that... oops! NaNo mostly scares me because it's a big commitment and, with my other real-life responsibilities, I'm not sure I could do it. And I know I'd beat myself up about it if I took it on and didn't finish it. Oh, the angst.
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@calajane (1005)
• Poland
16 Jul 11
Pfffft. Do what I do. For me November lasts well into December. It lasts until I finish the novel
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16 Jul 11
LOL, the Eternal November of the Spotless Mind!
@patgalca (14479)
• Orangeville, Ontario
13 Jul 11
I don't have any tricks but I got some unexpected advice when I let a friend read my manuscript. She said I left a lot of questions unanswered so I had to work those into the story. Both novels I've written have a happily-ever-after ending but with the possibility of continuing sagas for the main characters. I like my characters enough that I may want to write another story about them. In the novel I am working on now I finished the story dramatically with a symbolic gesture of finality. I think it works well. Someone else said to loop the end back to the beginning of the story. You might want to think about that.
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@calajane (1005)
• Poland
14 Jul 11
I like the idea of a loop. I sometimes also do somethining I call a mirror. It works great with sequels and stories in a series. Liek recently, I was writing a sequel to one of my stories. Where the structure was set almost identically to the first story, with scenes and dialogues being reminisent of the previous events. It worked very well, if I may say so myself Thank you for the advice, it sounds like something I could use
@ElicBxn (60884)
• United States
13 Jul 11
I find that an outline can help some times. Having a goal to write toward the end is also something that's helped me with my longer stories. Granted, none of them have been THAT long, but considering that 10 pages was about as long as I "normally" wrote, having a 25-30 page story was long for me. can't say how many words there were, too long ago to remember now, but those were 2 things that helped me get to the end of the story.
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@calajane (1005)
• Poland
14 Jul 11
(completely off topic, 20 000 words is usually around 38 pages in my experience) I started to seriously outline my stories only recently (ever since I got Scrivener) and it does help. But sometimes I just want to start actual writing, even before the outline is done. Like right now, I'm wwriting a story that has only half the outline done, because I was afraid I wouldn't manage to meet the deadline.
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