Writing Corner May-June 2024 Good Endings

Sharing Stories
May 11, 2024 at 6:09 p.m.
Ariele and Elizabeth: gray & white muse.
Ariele and Elizabeth: gray & white muse. Ariele M. Huff

Writing Corner May-June 2024

Good Endings

Dear Writer: If there’s anything that is harder than creating good beginnings for books, it’s creating good endings.

Recently, I realized I’d come to the completion of the second book in my series about Merit (the ancient Egyptian girl who began the series trapped in a burial tomb). In fact—and I may change my mind—but, in fact, I feel that the series is probably also complete.

Since I’ve approached this project as a “muse created” story, all of it has been somewhat surprising. Goals for the main character and the storyline arrived and survived…or didn’t, in that manner.  

In other words, the story initially grew its parts emotionally, not mentally. Intellect came in with research and with elaboration techniques like engaging senses and experiences.

So discovering my projects’ finish felt like stumbling around a corner to discover a pretty sign—flowers and leaves curling around the words “object achieved.”

It felt good. (Not my usual response to completing a lengthy project.)

That feeling widened itself, graciously, to include an After Note that summed up completions I’d want as a reader, “then-what’s” that didn’t require chapters. A few of these clearly felt like parts, that if expanded, would provide a less satisfying postpartum for the birth of my series.

Of course, it is wise and useful to erect outlines and notebooks of how a lengthy project may move from beginning to end. I’ve done that with most of my longer fiction and nonfiction. Even with poetry, carrying a final message or manner to settle on the cushion of “the end,” “finale,” or “fin.”

The last word on endings, for me, is how does it feel…to yourself, to trusted folk you share projects with, to imagined audiences.

I think the two best feelings to evoke are either deep satisfaction OR deep dissatisfaction…those plays, novels, poems, nonfiction that leave readers and audiences strongly motivated to create change.

And, if all else fails after you’ve had your say: “Th-th-that’s It Folks.”

Ariele M. Huff offers classes through the Edmonds Waterfront Center and Edmonds Parks Department as well as directly with clients. Ariele M. Huff has been teaching in Washington for the last 45 years, including many writing classes as well as personal work classes like Get Rich…$tay Rich, Processing Loss Workshops, Pain—Therapies & Treatments, and Ancient Healing Tools for Modern Stress. Classes are now online or ZOOM. Groups are all on ZOOM. Contact for a flyer.


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