STARTING AT THE END.
Lets take INCEPTION as an example. If I gave you this line “Sharing dreams is a common occurrence, allowing for the extraction and implantation of memories”, you can go off on a ton of really wild stories and tangents…but it will take a while to get to a solid spine of a story.
Lets try it like this then.. “He turns around…looking at his children…not knowing if he is still inside a dream, but also not caring.”
Suddenly the conclusion to our tale is solid, and the spine of the story is immediately more structured, because instead of flailing around endlessly, we have a solid anchor.
Its all good and well to have an idea for how to write a story (or at least an idea for one!), but one of the most challenging things is coming up with that ending. Well, here is an idea for those of you who are having some difficulty with this.
FINDING AN ENDING.
One of my all time favorite SubReddits is http://www.reddit.com/r/shortscarystories
Just browsing around there is enough inspiration to create 1000 different stories.
Here are some of my favourites
…now just imagine if these were your endings, what kind of tales you could spin leading up to this point:
She’s there again. Hovering scant inches from outside my window. Making faces, looking in. I can’t stand it and she isn’t the first.
Mother and father passed away long ago, long before I can remember. All I have to keep me company is my inner voice, if I can quell its anger. Some days it’s easier than others, some days no one appears at the window at all. When they do, though, there’s no one to tell. No one to cry to about the scary things mocking me through my window.
She’s doing it again. She’s lighting a candle. She’s looking in again. She’s saying my name. She won’t shut up. Maybe I’ll make her. Say it one more time bitch. Say Bloody Mary.
“The Moores are having a baby.”
I glanced up from the table, surprised. “They got the okay?”
My husband nodded. “The paperwork came in today, so I heard.” He lowered his eyes in sorrow. “Poor Joanna.”
“She’s only 53,” I breathed.
A bead of sweat dripped down my brow, landing on the cool, concrete floor of the bunker. I tried to remind myself to be thankful for this place, this concrete tomb, but it grew more difficult each day. Perpetuum Technologies, the company that sprung up just in time for the largest nuclear war the world had ever seen, had designed the vault to sustain one thousand people for as long as it took the surface to be inhabitable again.
Exactly one thousand people.
Poor Joanna indeed.
When his little brother scooped his own eyes out, Danny didn’t feel guilty. It wasn’t his fault little brothers are naturally stupid. Danny was just doing what big brothers had always done; he was playing a trick. They’d been lying flat on the grass and tossing tennis balls up and down when Jacob had asked him a dumb question: “Danny, what are those things in the sky? If I stay still, I can see them moving around.”
Danny knew about eye floaters. Everybody knew about eye floaters. But his little brother didn’t. Danny immediately saw his opportunity. “Oh my god, you can see ghosts, too? I thought I was the only one!” From then on, it was easy. Once Jacob got good at seeing “ghosts” in the blue sky, Danny trained him to sit very, very still and practice until he could see ghosts in the walls, or drifting in front of the window. Danny would point one out, and Jacob was convinced he could see it, too.
He’d given his brother plenty of time to catch on, hadn’t he? But after a couple weeks, Jacob freaked out and had to be rushed to the hospital when he maimed himself. Danny felt a little guilty at first. Then they let him in to talk to his brother for a while. “Why did you put your eyes out, idiot?” Danny asked him softly. Jacob turned his head, as if he could see right through the bandages, and Danny felt a chill.
“I didn’t,” Jacob whispered. “Ghosts don’t like to be seen, Danny. They can’t stand it. And Danny…” he reached out to grip Danny’s arm, “…be careful. They know you can see them, too.”
Now obviously I’m not saying rip these amazing authors off, but using stories like this as a springboard and starting point is fantastic when you are longing for some inspiration!