Ending, not beginning

I’m half a scene from the end of my vampire story.  Why half?  Well, I think the rest of the story takes place right now, in the same place.  The ending should be relatively short and simple, a few paragraphs, maybe a whole page, but probably not two.

I haven’t written it yet.  I’ve been thinking about it for three weeks, since I managed to connect the chronological parts of the story up with the almost-last scene that I wrote two months ago.  (Yay! One chronological story!)

One of my goals in this story has been to end it with an ending.  Since I’m so bad at finishing things (not just stories), I figure that endings are the part of story-writing I need the most practice at.

The problem with endings is that they’re really beginnings.  “And they lived happily ever after” is the beginning of the whole rest of their lives.  I wrote a short story last year that was really a prologue to a possibly-novel-lengthed story about a human child who was stolen by fairies.  I wasn’t ready to write the novel yet, but I had this idea about the fairies taking the infant to a shop that sells wings, to have wings put on it.  The fairies want to make it seem that the child is a hybrid, not a full-human.  But the ending wasn’t satisfying–it was really the beginning of the rest of the novel.

I can’t decide how the vampire story should end.  It’s a short story, not a lot of mass to it, so there’s no one obvious direction it’s been going in for chapters.  The way it ends will determine the theme of the story.  The point.  Whatever ending I pick, it will translate into just one summarizing statement that will describe the whole story.  And I can’t decide which statement that should be.  What will be a powerful ending that won’t make the reader want to throw the story against a wall?  (For example, killing the MC* would definitely make my readers want to throw it against the wall.)  What will be the powerful ending that doesn’t obviously lead to a whole rest of the story?

To this end, I’ve limited how much back story is relevant, how many characters are involved, and the time span covered.  I’m now at the point where I know how long is left (about 10 minutes, I think), and I know several ways it can go.  I need to know which way its going before I can revise, so that I can make sure the ending feels surprising-but-inevitable… so I need to pick an ending.  No, I need to pick the ending.  The best one, which has high impact and translates into a theme that matters to me.  And doesn’t feel cheesy, or like a cheat.

And then I can call this draft done.


* Main Character

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