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Presented by Ms. Beverly Dunaway Breakfast Point Academy. Writing Endings Monster Mistakes. What is an ending?. BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND.

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Presented by ms beverly dunaway breakfast point academy

Presented by

Ms. Beverly Dunaway

Breakfast Point Academy

Writing Endings Monster Mistakes

Begin with the end in mind

  • Last Things First"If I didn't know the ending of a story, I wouldn't begin. I always write my last lines, my last paragraph, my last page first, and then I go back and work towards it. I know where I'm going. I know what my goal is.

Ending under pressure

  • Composing a Conclusion Under Pressure"Even though the conclusion is the cherry on top of the ice cream sundae, you may not have a lot of time to formulate one if you're writing under exam conditions.

Circular ending
Circular Ending

  • Circular Closing"This strategy works on the analogy of a circle, which ends where it began. The final paragraph repeats an important word or phrase prominent in the beginning, something the reader will remember.


  • A kiss hello...a wave airplane fading in the sky.

  • Our lives are marked by beginnings and endings. In the things we do every day, we look for starting and ending points. We hold those images' sight, smell, taste, and feel. It's no wonder, then, that writers take such care to develop strong introductions that grab readers and conclusions that leave them feeling satisfied.

Think like a reader
Think like a reader!

  • All of these mistakes with story endings can be easily avoided if you think like a reader rather than a writer. Scrutinize your story's ending from every angle and make sure that you've come up with the perfect way to taper off.

Mistake super long ending
Mistake: Super Long Ending

  • Mistakes with Story Endings: The Super-Long Ending

  • The third mistake that writers often make with story endings is the super-long ending. This is the story that goes on for the aforementioned fifty pages after the climax. Perhaps the author just didn't want the story to end or maybe she was worried about ending abruptly; whatever the case, you must know when enough is enough.

Mistake abrupt ending
Mistake: Abrupt Ending

  • Mistakes with Story Endings: The Abrupt Ending

  • Another mistake that writers make with story endings is the abrupt ending, which occurs when the story simply stops. Just because the action is over and the protagonist is safe doesn't mean that your story must come to a screeching halt, Instead, give the reader a little closure to indicate that the story is over

Mistake unanswered questions
Mistake: Unanswered questions

  • Mistakes with Story Endings: The Ending of Unanswered Questions

  • It is important to remember that a story needs to answer al of the questions it poses. Novice writers often include little details in the fabric of their stories that go unaddressed at the end, leaving the reader asking, "What?"

Ending is important
Ending is Important

  • The ending is far more important than you may think, and it is the part of your story that the reader is most likely to remember.

Make your ending choice
Make your ending CHOICE

  • 1. A story about a trip to Carowinds:

  • A. Then I went home.

  • B. As I traveled home, I thought about my exciting

  • day at my favorite place, Carowinds

Poor endings

  • “We had a lot of fun.”

  • “Then we went home.”

  • “It was a fun time.”

  • “We drove home.”

  • “Finally we left.”

  • “I fell asleep on the way home.”

  • “The end.”

Practice endings
Practice Endings

  • Pass out the chart paper with poor endings, one to each group. Have students work in small groups and think of better endings, keeping in mind that they need to refer back to the main idea of the story. Monitor and give assistance with group work.

Books with good endings
Books with Good Endings

  • Books with Good Beginnings/Good Endings:

  • The Gentle Giant Octopusby Karen Wallace

  • Bat at Nightby Nicola Davies

  • Look Out Jack! The Giant is Back! by Tom Birdeye

  • A Storm on the Desertby Carolyn Lesser

  • Owl Moonby Jane Yolen

  • Because of Winn Dixieby Kate Dicamillo

  • My Great Aunt Arizonaby Gloria Houston

  • Bubba, The Cowboy Princeby Helen Ketteman

  • Stop That Dog! The Great Gracie Chaseby Cynthia Rylant

  • The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant

  • Click Clack Mooby Doreen Cronin, Betsy Lewin (Illustrator)

Good endings
Good Endings

  • Point out that good endings may let the reader know how the writer feels and should wrap up the main idea of the story.

  • 2. A story about an embarrassing moment:

  • A. I was very, very embarrassed.

  • B. As long as I live I’ll never forget the most

  • embarrassing moment of my entire life.

  • 3. A story about a magic carpet ride:

  • A. I had fun.

  • B. That’s all folks!

  • C. As I snuggled under my covers that night, I fell

  • asleep thinking about my ride on the magic

  • carpet.

  • 4. A story about a fun day at school:

  • A. It was the funniest day of my life.

  • B. When I got home, I opened my birthday presents

  • that my mom and dad gave me.

  • C. I’m already looking forward to the next time we

  • have a fun day at school. I hope I don’t have to

  • wait too long!

  • Discuss the ending of the book The Relatives Came. Sometimes authors end their stories with a memory, a feeling, a wish, or a hope. Other times they end the story by referring back to the language of the beginning.

Mistake endings
Mistake Endings

  • “It was all a dream.”

  • “I wrote about…”

  • “And they all went to bed.”

Good ending
Good Ending

  • Personal conclusion you have reached or a lesson you have learned because of the experience you wrote about in your paper. Example: Riding a roller coaster with someone who is a "chicken" is something I will certainly never do again. I should have listened when Sheila told me she did not want to ride it. I should have let her take the "chicken exit." Next time I will know better

Mystery ending
Mystery Ending

  • Mystery Close with a statement that shows some things will never be resolved. However, be sure to do this in a way that the reader does not think you just forgot to end your story or paper. Example: We watched Adam walk down the road until he became just a tiny speck and then disappeared altogether into the dust of twilight. Just as he appeared, he was gone. That was the last time any of us ever saw him

Good ending1
Good Ending

  • Beginning of New Story When writing a story or personal narrative, you can close with a hint of things to come, or the beginning of a new story--a sequel of sorts. Example: He was exhausted. It had been a long and difficult week. Javier closed his eyes and thought of the many other adventures that lie ahead.

3 kinds of horrible endings
3 Kinds of horrible endings

  • But there are three kinds of horrible endings that rear their heads again and again in writing workshop. If you teach students to recognize these blunders in their writing, they are more likely to avoid them and craft more original closings

  • 1. Unnecessary repetition: The first mistake involves not trusting that your writing says what you want it to say. When this happens, writers repeat their main point, bludgeoning it in the process. Students who have this tendency often just need to be reassured that they've done a good job in conveying their ideas earlier in the piece.

  • 2. Uninspired chronology: Students also make the error of reverting to chronology, often ending their writing with the characters dying or falling asleep. If you ask students never to end their pieces with phrases such as "...and they all went to bed," you'll eliminate lots of abrupt conclusions.