Novel Essentials: Arcs and Endings
This seminar is for writers who are in the process of completing a novel. The ending of a novel can be a stumbling block for even the most accomplished authors. Often, readers will find an ending unsatisfying, jarring, or—worst of all—unmemorable. Some novels fizzle out; others take inexplicable turns; all too many end in deaths that occur more for the convenience of the author than as a logical or coherent outcome of the plot. In this seminar, we will examine the different narrative arcs that can be employed in writing novels, from the formulaic progress of a murder mystery towards a dramatic dénouement to the leisurely “plateau” arc of Victorian novels, many of which end with wrapping-up sections of two hundred pages or more.
Being careful not to reveal the endings of books not everyone has read, we will discuss examples from published authors, and we will conclude by briefly discussing every attendee’s novel in turn, suggesting potentially effective endings for their plotline. By the end of the seminar, each writer will have a better sense of what makes a memorable ending in general and what kind of ending might work well for their novel in particular.
Thanks to the excellent literary citizenship of our donors, scholarships are available for all GrubStreet classes. To apply, click the gray "APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIP" button. In order to be considered for a scholarship, you must complete your application at least one week before the start date of a class. Please await our scholarship committee's decision before registering for the class. We cannot hold spots in classes, so the sooner you apply, the better. Scholarships cannot be applied retroactively.
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