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Write a fourth alternate ending for two peer’s story. It should be a clear-cut outcome involving action, and it should indicate the protagonist’s change in attitude or perspective.

Write a fourth alternate ending for two peer’s story. It should be a clear-cut outcome involving action, and it should indicate the protagonist’s change in attitude or perspective.

So What? (Theme and Earned Endings)

Exercise : Alternate Endings

Which type of ending (from the list of effective or ineffective endings in this module) does your own short story currently use? Which type of ending could be more effective? Summarize three alternate endings for your story (one paragraph each), according to these instructions:

  • Ending #1 should use dialogue as the final line.
  • Ending #2 should use an image as the final line.
  • Ending #3 should use a parallel ending (i.e., “kissing the beginning”).

Part 2: Peer response

You are responsible for responding to at least two of your peers’ writing exercises. Respond to a peer’s posts by following the instructions below. (Please respond to work in the order it is posted, i.e., respond to the earliest posted exercise that has yet to receive a response.)

Exercise B peer response: Write a fourth alternate ending for two peer’s story. It should be a clear-cut outcome involving action, and it should indicate the protagonist’s change in attitude or perspective. Note: It can be subtle.

The Best Approaches to

Endings

At the end of any story, something––however slight––must have changed from the beginning. Successful endings often have several layers as well (i.e., more than one thing going on at the same time). Below are some options for ending a story with resonance:

  • Clear-cut outcome involving action: This indicates a character change in attitude or perspective; it can be subtle.
  • Parallel ending (also known as “kissing the beginning”): This presents a situation or image similar to one from the beginning. It’s the use of symbolism at the beginning and end of a story to create a circular pattern that can help to make a slightly open-ended story feel complete.
  • Monologue: Character comments show (rather than tell) change.
  • Dialogue: Characters converse and demonstrate change subtly.
  • Image: This resolves the plot through a literal image of setting.

Note: Different kinds of stories require different types of endings. If your story is mostly quiet and internal, then you can get away with an ending that is less clear-cut, but if you have blood and violence in your story, you need a more straightforward ending. Of course, there are successful exceptions to this advice, but it’s something to keep in mind as you begin to revise.

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