3 Ending Fails (and How to Avoid Them) by Edward Stone

*Disclaimer: This blog series is written from the perspective of Gabrielle’s villain, Edward. Gabrielle does not claim all of Edwards opinions as her own. She does not believe modern society needs to be destroyed, though she’s really hoping none of her readers need that clarification.

Oh, and there may be an Avengers: Infinity War spoiler below. You’ve been warned.


Gabrielle: sits atop a picnic table, tapping away at her keyboard

Edward: wanders nearby, practicing an evil monologue …and that’s why I believe modern society should end. There is a purity in death, an innocence in starting over. Even ashes are white.

Gabrielle: gives him a weird look Why are you being so dramatic?

Edward: I’m preparing. You never know when you will run into a hero you must impress with your eloquence. Besides, it’s a perfect introduction.

Gabrielle: Introduction to what?

Edward: Our lesson on endings.

Gabrielle: Of course.

Edward: turns to readers Endings give extra value and resonance to a story. Unfortunately, writers are not infallible. They botch their endings, just like Gabrielle bungles most of her art pieces.

Gabrielle: Hey!

Edward: But never fear, you don’t have to fail like Gabrielle. If you avoid long resolutions, sudden tone changes, and unconnected character arcs, you’re well on your way to a strong ending. Read more

Storytelling Flaws #1: Flat Villains

(Here’s the series introduction so you’re not completely confused by my special guest and the dialogue nature of this post.)


Edward: strolls into the room Have you seen my coat?

Gabrielle: doesn’t look up from reading the Count of Monte Cristo It’s in the coat closet. You left it on the floor, so I picked it up for you.

Edward: Why would you do that?

Gabrielle: I got motivated to clean for once. shudders Characters can get really messy.

Edward: I leave my things on the floor for a reason. There is a place for everything, and for everything there is a place.

Gabrielle: You just said the same thing twice.

Edward: Silence, peasant.

Gabrielle: Aren’t you supposed to be teaching a lesson or something?

Edward: Realizes he’s being watched by readers Ahem. he straightens Good morning, friends.

Gabrielle: mutters something about a lame introduction

Edward: glares at her In this inaugural post, I want to cover a topic very dear to my heart (if I had one). No, I don’t speak of the tampering of personal property. sends a pointed glare Gabrielle’s way

I want to discuss the greatest sin of all literary misdemeanors.

Pauses for dramatic effect

I speak of flat villains. Read more

Storytelling Flaws By (The Villainous) Edward Stone

 

A well-dressed gentleman walks into the room and tips his hat Top of the mornin’ to you. I’m Edward. Edward Stone.

Gabrielle: shoves Edward out of the way I do the introductions around here, ok? They’ll get confused if you do it.

Edward: glares You could always change it up a little.

Gabrielle: ignores him Hi friends!

Edward: mutters something about a lame introduction

Gabrielle: Be quiet, Edward. turns to readers As I hinted in my last post, I’m implementing a few changes. I’ve invited one of my villains––

Edward: cough Lord Executive Master and High Ruler of the One Hundred sectors, thirty-two divisions, and two realms. cough

Gabrielle: …to help me out with a few things. I want to share what I know about storytelling with you guys. However, I’ve got my hands full with Rook, and Edward has volunteered to take some weight off my back. Gabrielle shoots a concerned glance at the grinning Edward I’m slighting concerned he’s only doing this so he can take over my blog (he’s slightly obsessed with taking over things. I think he has control issues), but this will be fun. Once or twice a month, he’ll take the reins and––

Edward: steps in front of Gabrielle Ahem, My turn. You said I could announce my own series.

Gabrielle: Fine. But make sure you give them enough information.

Edward: waves Gabrielle away Now that that’s over with, let me give you a proper introduction. In all honesty, I’m a crook, not a professor. But any villain’s got to know how to weave a good tale, tug on the emotions, that sort of thing. I know a fair bit about storytelling.

Enough to know there are a lot of bad stories out there. I can’t help but groan when a good story is ruined by a glaring flaw.

Since I don’t want you all to fail miserably and create stories I can’t enjoy, I’m starting a––what does she call it––a blog series. I’ll be exposing a storytelling flaw in each post, covering subjects like character development, story structure, prose, and the like, so you can avoid them.

Is that clear? Good. disappears in an epic cape swoosh, mysterious fog swirling

Gabrielle: stares at where he disappeared

I hope that wasn’t a massive mistake. I’ll see you all next week with my Somethings, then it’s Edwards turn.

We’ll see how this goes.

Sincerely,

-Gabrielle R. Pollack (and Edward Stone)