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Essentials for the Fiction Writer: Endings

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Essentials for the Fiction Writer: Endings - S608F12


with Suzanne Hoover, Ph.D.


Essentials for the Fiction Writer is a series of high level, craft-oriented workshops for fiction writers. Each delves deeply into critical elements of fiction writing, with emphasis on the novel.


There is a reason why the ending is perhaps the most difficult part of a story to write. It presents a knotty dilemma: if we have written a good story, our readers will want it to continue. So how, then, do we push back, and provide an ending that feels necessary, proportionate and satisfying?


In this workshop we will look at the complex question of what makes a story’s ending feel "necessary, proportionate and satisfying." And we will identify some things we can do early in the story, that will strengthen the ending, when we arrive there. Finally, using examples from literature, we will survey different types of endings, to see how others have approached the poignant problem of closure.


Participants are invited to bring their most challenging questions about endings for the second half, Q&A portion of Professor Hoover’s talk.


This is a valuable opportunity to learn advanced techniques from a master teacher of fiction writing craft. Suzanne Hoover holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University in English and Comparative Literature. The author of two novels and a highly experienced teacher of fiction and essay writing, Suzanne was for 25 years a full-time member of the Literature faculty of Sarah Lawrence College. Among the courses she taught was a very popular course for students in the prestigious Graduate Writing Program, in narrative craft and story structure. Although officially "retired," Suzanne has recently returned to teach in the Sarah Lawrence Graduate Writing Program. Prior to teaching at Sarah Lawrence, she taught literature at Wellesley College. In 1977 she delivered the Shakespeare lectures at SUNY, Purchase. For over 20 years, in addition to her full time teaching she also taught courses in writing at the non-credit Sarah Lawrence Writing Institute.

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