Even Emily, who loves, loves, loves to write, rarely finishes her stories. It's a daunting task. I've wondered about this before, because the same thing happens with my son, who plays guitar. He goes online and learns the "hooks" of popular songs, but hardly ever learns one all the way through. After much pondering (and a bit of worrying), I have come to the conclusion that they will do more on their own when they are developmentally ready to do so. When the time comes, they will have a plethora of already-ready-to-be-finished pieces to work on. They won't have to start from scratch!
In school, though, when the pressure is on to put the pencil to the paper, it is helpful to give kids ending strategies with which to experiment. Ellen Mazer gives us a few to choose from:
- Neat-and-tidy endings-- the character gets what he or she wants
- Endings in which the main character does not get what he or she wants, but gets what he or she needs
- Endings in which the main character does not get what he or she wants or needs -- a.k.a. real life
- Surprise endings
Steve Peha, over at Teaching That Makes Sense, has a handy list of endings that I've used with kids before. Click here and go to chapter 10 to get a gander at them. It is an extensive list, so it could feel very overwhelming to kids. It's best to pick a few to introduce your students and add on as necessary.
The section of Spilling Ink, just like the others, is chock full of great advice.
The end. I hope you liked my blog post.