Ending with Endings

What better way to end a creative writing course than with a discussion on endings? I pulled together some tips from various sources, and we talked about the kinds of endings we like best. We also read aloud a story with an ending I find incredibly powerful — “Gentleman’s Agreement” by Mark Richard. Well, I think everything about that story is powerful. The character development, point of view, structure, voice — pretty much every topic we’ve covered in class. I was excited to share it with my students because I thought they’d particularly like the child’s point of view and, of course, the ending. But they hated it! Unanimously! In spite of my gushing praise of the way Richard gets inside the child character’s head. The students gave exaggerated gasps for breath at the end of each long sentence and scoffed at the amount of detail about bats. One student said the best part was the ending because it meant the story was over. Yeesh! Ah, well. Can’t win them all.

The last class is tomorrow — a public reading of the students’ work! Wish us luck.


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