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How to end a fanfiction

2024-04-10

Planning your ending is all about ensuring everything leads your readers to a satisfying conclusion. Jot down your ideas, consider the structure and tone of your story, plot out your climax, and consider the resolution for your main characters. Bear in mind that the timing and positioning of your ending can have a huge impact on how effective it is.

Being clear about the resolution of your fanfiction story doesn't mean it needs to tie up every single loose end. It's more important to focus on the main unconcluded components and characters. Leaving some minor aspects ambivalent or open to interpretation can often add depth to your story.

How to end a fanfiction

2. Staying True to Characters

It can be quite daunting to stay true to established characters in fanfiction, especially towards the ending. Make sure you're not twisting or distorting the personality of your characters to fit your final plot. If you're writing a fanfiction about Harry Potter, for instance, make sure your ending depicts Harry as J.K. Rowling would have.

Take into consideration the character growth throughout your story. Your characters should naturally evolve, and the changes that happen during the course of your fanfiction should reflect in your ending as well.

3. Resolving the Major Conflict

The major conflict is usually what drives your fanfiction story. The resolution of this conflict should form the crux of your ending. Make sure the resolution is not too easy or laid out, but rather brings in interesting and unexpected plot twists. Yet, it's important not to lose sight of the logic and believability of the resolution.

Remember, while it's important to stay true to the original material, it's also important to inject originality. If the conflict resolution seems too similar to the source material, it might come off as redundant.

4. Choosing the Right Tone

The tone is the overall mood or atmosphere of your story. It could be emotional, humorous, mysterious, or anything else you see fit. The tone you've adopted throughout your fanfiction should be consistent with the tone of your ending.

Likewise, the emotional payoff in your ending should be similar to what your readers have been expecting throughout the story. If you've been maintaining a grim and suspenseful tone throughout the story, try avoiding a comical or overly lighthearted ending.

5. Ensuring a Good Pace

Pacing is another major factor in how well your ending is received. Make sure your ending doesn't feel rushed nor overly drawn out. The pace at which your story unfolds should be carefully controlled to keep the reader engaged.

Also, ensure your ending doesn't drag on. If your story's climax has occurred and the main conflict resolved, don't extend the story unnecessarily. It's better to end on a high note rather than risk losing reader engagement.

6. Understanding Audience Expectations

It's important to understand the expectations of your audience when crafting your fanfiction ending. Use platforms like fanfiction.net or Archive Of Our Own (AO3), and carefully read comments or feedback to understand what readers want.

Without pandering too much to your audience, make sure to incorporate elements that would satisfy them. Every fandom has unique elements, and using such elements can add layers to your story while fulfilling reader expectations.

7. Making the Ending Memorable

A good ending will linger in the minds of your readers. Make sure your ending has elements of surprise, emotion, and satisfaction. This doesn't mean it has to be entirely happy, but rather fulfilling, keeping your readers thinking once they've finished your fanfiction.

At the same time, make sure it doesn't feel forced or out of the blue. Unnecessarily attempting to shock your readers through implausible plot twists could do more harm than good. Strike a balance between the unexpected and the logical to leave a lasting impression.

8. Reviewing and Editing

After writing your ending, take time to do a thorough review and edit. Proofreading for typos, grammar errors, awkward language, and unclear phrasing is important, considering every word counts at the climax. Apps like Grammarly or Hemingway Editor can be valuable tools in this process.

Also, consider getting feedback from beta readers before posting the ending online. They can provide invaluable insights on plot consistency, character development, and engagement. Platforms like fanfiction.net provide options to connect with beta readers.

9. Publishing Your Ending

When you're satisfied with your ending, it's time to publish it. Depending on the platform you're using (like Wattpad, fanfiction.net, or AO3), the process will vary. Ensure to preview your post before publishing to make sure everything looks as intended.

When announcing your update, you might also want to interact with your audience through author's notes or on social media. Keep in mind not to spoil anything about the ending in your communication.

10. Handling Reader Reactions

Once your fanfiction is complete, be prepared for both positive and negative reactions. Dealing with criticism constructively can help you grow as a writer. Take into account every constructive comment to improve in your future works. However, remember it’s impossible to please everyone.

Also, remember to take the time to enjoy the positive comments and appreciation from your readers. It's the most rewarding aspect of writing fanfiction.

Common Questions

Q: How do I make sure my ending is satisfying?

A: The most satisfying endings often resolve the main conflict, stay true to the characters, and deliver an emotional impact. Make sure your ending aligns with the tone and expectations you have set throughout your story.

Q: What if I receive negative feedback about my ending?

A: Constructive criticism can help you improve your writing skills. If there are valid points in the feedback, consider them for your future works. However, not all criticism is valid. It's important to understand the difference and not to take negative comments to heart.

Q: How long should my ending be?

A: The length of your ending will greatly depend on the plot and pacing of your story. There is no hard and fast rule, but remember not to rush or drag the ending. It should be just long enough to properly conclude the story.

References

Writing Tips Oasis. "How to Write Fanfiction." www.writingtipsoasis.com/how-to-write-fanfiction/

Writer's Digest. "Writing a Successful Fanfiction." www.writersdigest.com/writing-articles/by-writing-form/writing-mg-ya/writing-a-successful-fanfiction

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