Surprising, Yet Inevitable: The Art of the Ending

Saturday, November 3rd, 2:30am-5:30pm
Remote (Live Zoom Meetings)
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Level: For Everyone
Adult (18+)
12 seats max
Only 4 spots left!

According to Aristotle in his Poetics, the best endings are both "surprising, yet inevitable": We shouldn't see the events of the ending coming, but once it unfolds, it's the only way it could have ever happened. In this class, we'll look at some examples of "surprising, yet inevitable" endings and parse out certain techniques and strategies that the authors use. We'll discuss, among other things, how to tie plot threads to together at the end, how we can make our endings meaningful and resonant without being overly sentimental, and how to create subtle yet powerful symbolism that both ties your story's overall themes together and packs a final punch. Participants should bring an in-process short story they are having trouble resolving and be prepared to work briefly on the last few paragraphs. Participants will also be asked to read an essay by George Saunders in advance of the class. Open to writers of all levels.

NOTE: You might also be interested in Hooked From the First Line: The Art of the Opening, taking place earlier this day. 

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Joy Baglio
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Previous Students Say

  • "Generative"
  • "Inspired Me to Write More"


  • In-Class Writing
  • Workshop
  • Revision Assignments
  • In-Class Reading
  • Class Discussion


  • Short Fiction

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