Novel Essentials: Arcs and Endings
This seminar is for writers 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 different narrative arcs that can be employed in writing novels, from the formulaic progress of a murder mystery toward a dramatic dénouement to the leisurely “plateau” arc of Victorian novels, many of which end with wrapping-up sections of a hundred pages or more.
Being careful not to reveal the endings of books that not everyone has read, we will discuss examples of final pages from a variety of published authors, and we will conclude with an in-class exercise focusing on the participants' own projects. 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.
This class will take place in-person at our Center for Creative Writing in Boston's Seaport neighborhood. Please note that proof of vaccination against COVID-19 is required to attend this class. Please submit your proof of vaccination here at least 48 hours before your class begins. Read on to learn more about GrubStreet's vaccine protocol and find information about where to get vaccinated below.
GrubStreet Vaccine Protocol
Please submit your most recent proof of vaccination, which requires a booster shot for those eligible, here at least 48 hours before your class begins. If you have previously submitted a proof of vaccination that did not include your booster shot, you will need to resubmit your updated vaccine card. If you are not able to fill out our vaccination form 48 hours before your class begins, please bring your vaccine card (or a photo of it) with you to the building. Please note that if you arrive for class and you have not filled out the form and do not have proof of vaccination with you, you will not be allowed to participate in the class. And don’t forget your mask! In accordance with the City of Boston, masks will be required at all times while inside the building. Click here to read GrubStreet's full Vaccination and Masking Policy.
Vaccination status: For in-person classes and events, your vaccination status is considered up-to-date until the time you are eligible for a booster – which is 5 months after the second dose in a two-shot series. Boosters are required for all visitors on our second floor if your second shot was more than 5 months ago.
Need help getting vaccinated? It’s free and easy to receive a COVID-19 vaccine! Please visit Massachusetts’ VaxFinder page to find a vaccination site near you. If you'd like to learn more, you can read the answers to some commonly asked questions about COVID vaccination here.
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.
For more more detailed information about GrubStreet scholarships, including how to contribute to scholarship funds for other students, click here.
Previous Students Say
- "Inspired Me to Write More"
- "Inundated with Great Info"
- Study Published Writing
- In-Class Writing
- Class Discussion
- The Novel