I’m Just A Teenage Mailbag, Baby: Even More Student Questions

I’m Just A Teenage Mailbag, Baby: Even More Student Questions


Figure 1. Sometimes you just need The Rust Cohle Lip Curl

Figure 1. The Rust Cohle Lip Curl. Which can encapsulate some reader reactions to your story’s ending.


Student Question #3

How do you create a resolution/ending that you and the reader are content with?


Short Answer:

Hell if I know. *sighs for 15 minutes*

Long Answer:

Well, depends on if you have one reader who likes the same kinds of stories you like. But in reality, if you publish a book, you’re going to have lots of readers. And not all of them will love what you do with the Fake People.

(ASIDE:  I kinda of quit writing when I don’t know what else happens. Like, I’m just done thinking about my Fake People. I don’t actually know what happens to them in the rest of their lives. My imagination just gives out.

When readers are like, “Does Evan get together with Baker after the end of Sex & Violence?” I’m all, beats the hell out of me. That’s what fan fiction’s for.)

I suppose the main thing I should stress is that above all, you should be content with the resolution/ending. It should feel right to you, whether it’s happy or tragic or ambiguous or whatever. You should think about YOU while you’re writing and try to be honest about who these Fake People are. Consider what makes the most sense for the story you’ve made. Reflect upon reality as you understand it, or upon the reality you’ve engineered, and your story’s relation to that.

I think the answers can also be found in the first chapter. What in the first chapter links back to the last one? You might want to rewrite your first chapter to create a nice link. That’s not cheating, by the way.

The first chapter’s like a suitcase you pack the reader to take on your trip. That’s what Andrew Karre explained to me. Though I think he forgot that he said that.

So the last chapter’s when you look in that suitcase and see what’s in there. More stuff? Less? What did my Fake People gain and lose?

Clearly, this is not a science and it’s really quite a messy problem. A delightful, messy problem, of course, if you’re into that kinda thing. But remember:  you’ve got lots of chances to solve it, so don’t think you have to hit the mark when it comes the ending on the first draft.

Want to read more Teenage Mailbag questions? Go here.



Leave Reply