A Writer’s Last Words

Your Ending Sentence

By Annette Rey

Recently, I misinterpreted a writer’s call on Facebook. Someone asked for ending sentences. I thought it was an exercise to think creatively. It turned out to be a call for an actual ending a writer had used in his work.

This mistake gave me the idea to create a writer’s exercise that makes us think in reverse. Start at the end of your work, create that last line, and see how that line affects the way you construct the last chapter, or the ending of your short story, or article. Your physical brain needs exercise and asking it to respond in new ways will challenge a boring routine. These exercises are designed to shake you and wake you.

Try something new.

You have often heard, “Write a gripping first sentence.” “Hook the reader with your opening sentence.” Well, here is a new approach. How about looking at the endings of our work? Those last sentences should be just as gripping and memorable for our readers. You might think in finalities. Or you may choose a cliffhanger ending, as many of the Hitchcock stories ended.

And unlike the call on Facebook that wanted some background to explain the ending, my exercise only requires the ending line (or more if you like).

Wanting to create a memorable line, I submitted – Rebecca cried.

I chose that line to evoke sensitive thoughts and sympathetic emotions in a reader. As writers, we want to give our readers an experience outside themselves. Perhaps, too, we want them to connect to something inside themselves that they may not have known exists. Our work should pique the minds and imaginations of our readers. They should finish reading your work with something more inside them than they had when they began reading your first line.

Spend a few moments writing creatively in reverse. Accept a new approach.

Brag your final lines to me.




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