Nancy Kress on Fixing the Ending

Nancy Kress recently did a short post on how she fixed a story ending that wasn’t working, although it sneaks in as part of a post about other things.

The short version, for those not inclined to follow links, goes something like this:

Step One: go back to the last point where the story last excited you.
Step Two: Change the action of a secondary character.
Step Three: Chart the protagonists response to that change.

I may have sat there staring at the advice for a good ten minutes this morning, wondering how the hell I’d never thought of it. I mean, it’s simple and rather obvious, but seeing it articulated like that as a process is somewhat revelatory.

  4 comments for “Nancy Kress on Fixing the Ending

  1. Sarah Lee Parker
    21/01/2011 at 10:54 PM

    Wow, that really is *excellent* advice!

  2. 22/01/2011 at 12:09 AM

    Crikey, am I the only person who actually feels like a simpleton after reading that? One of those painfully obvious things we never seem to come up with by ourselves. Genius.

    I'm gonna have me a crack at this.

  3. 22/01/2011 at 2:01 AM

    @Jason – nope, I still feel like a complete freakin' moron.

  4. Helen
    22/01/2011 at 6:41 AM

    That is brilliant advice. Thanks for passing it on.

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