I’ve been working on my main project, but I’ve also been working on a side project I really enjoy. It’s about bull riding. I thought I had a first draft until I realized I didn’t have an ending. I had everything except the ending scene where we find out does she win or does she lose. Kind of an important scene.
The ending is one of the lasting impressions, what you leave with. A poor ending can ruin the experience (so no pressure). I’m still debating how I want to end it. What do I want her to learn? What do I want to say?
I looked to what I had already set up. She got into this dangerous sport for money. She gets injured and has to come clean about her past injuries. She loses the trust of her coach, her love interest, and has to tell her mother what she’s been up to (not roller derby like she said). She comes back for the last ride. So does she win or lose?
I want her to win. That would be a happy ending. She’d win the most money. I don’t know how realistic that would be. First, who cares? It’s a story. Bull riders and others who make their living with this sport would care. I’m not saying it’s an easy sport by any means, but then I have this girl come in and win.
But if she loses, what does she learn? It’ll be a heavier ending. Some argue this type of ending is more memorable. I agree, but I don’t know if it’s best for the story. In “Whip It!”, the girls come in second but that’s best for those characters. Winning on the track wasn’t the point. They needed to be okay coming in second.
So I’m trying things out. I’m writing different scenes and different endings to see what’s right for the character, the story, and what resonates with me the most.
Have you had trouble ending a story? What did you do? Let me know in the comments below. Thanks!