As a fiction writer, I find endings one of the most difficult aspects of the craft. So naturally I was intrigued to read Roy Peter Clark’s recent Writing Tools post on the “greatest endings of all time.”
The post reminded me that as often as we see “how-to” articles advising us on ways to begin stories and novels, comparable suggestions for endings are far less plentiful. Quite possibly that’s because, as Clark notes, “It’s not easy to write about endings. To appreciate a great ending, you need to experience the whole work. Disembodied endings can seem like uprooted trees, ripped from their life source.”
That makes me appreciate Clark’s post all the more. I find his analysis of excerpts from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Great Gatsby, and The Grapes of Wrath truly instructive.
Any of you care to add to the list? Any more “types” of endings, or excerpts, you can share here? And any strategies for writing endings to your own work(s)?