If This Was the Last Scene of a Story …

If this was the last scene of a story, how would you write it? The setting appears to be related to a church, either a a wall around a church building or a cemetery. The statues makes me think it’s a Catholic site. It could be sunset or sunrise–either would work for an ending.Who are the people walking through the gate? Husband and wife? Mother and son? Two strangers who happened to bump into each other?

If this photo inspires the last scene of a story for your, please share it in the comments. Here’s my inspiration:

Mom gave the tombstone a stroke across its rough top, planted her cane in the ground, and turned to me. “I’m done.” A smile, making her look about six, hovered on her lips. “I guess we both are now.”

Jamming my hands in the pockets of my shorts, I felt about six. “I’m sorry I complained so much. And tried to discourage you. And–“

“If you’re gonna say you’re sorry for everything you did wrong on this trip, I’m gonna have to find a comfortable tombstone and sit.” She shuffled toward the tall gate, the sunset catching her full in the face. “I accept your apology. And any future ones you think you gotta make.”

Why did her quick acceptance make me feel worse? I fell in step beside her, and she took my arm with her free hand.

If it took forever to get from the car to the cemetery, it seemed to take forever and a day to get to the van. It glinted under the gold beams of evening and still looked like it should collapse on its axels.

As I helped Mom into the passenger seat, she turned and took my face in both hands. “Thank you, Jimmy.” She kissed me on the nose.

“You’re–uh …” I pulled back and slunk around to my side. I couldn’t say “You’re welcome”. A parent shouldn’t have to thank her child for doing his job.

I slide behind the wheel and stared ahead. Only one thing to do.

“Mom, I gotta call Aiden.” I swiped his number.

“Dad?” Aiden sounded stunned, like he expected a call from me to be about as likely as one from the President.

“I accept your apology.”

“You do?” The questions was a whisper.

“Absolutely. I was wrong not accept it when you first said it. But we can talk more about it when Mom and I get home.” I looked at the high wall. The sunset seemed to give Jesus and the saints along the top halos. I looked to Mom. She gave me an enormous grin and patted my arm

“We’ve got way too much to tell you over the phone.”

Aiden said okay in a daze, and I hung up.

As I headed back down the pothole-pocked road, I felt six again. Six years old, like when you just know anything is possible.

For more photo prompts to inspire endings, click here.

What About a Less Than Happy Ending?

What about a less than happy ending for today’s photo prompt about writing endings? I don’t mean a complete downer–life has enough of those. But how about one that is not totally upbeat, maybe an ending that has both positive and negative elements? When I came across this portrait, it got me to imaging how this woman could fit into an ending. And she doesn’t look happy.

Here’s what I created for a less than happy ending.

Amy, Rachel, and I descended the steps of the police station. I zipped my coat as a sudden gust tore down the street.

“It’s all over,” Rachel sighed.

At the bottom step, I said to Amy, “I’m glad I had the chance to help you, no matter what happened, to prove how sorry I am.”

Amy had been gazing down the street as fat flakes collected on her hair. Now her head swiveled to me, and I knew that stare. I’d seen it since we were kids.

“What makes you think you’ve proven anything?” she said in that ice-cold tone that sunk into me better than fangs.

“He nearly died saving you,” Rachel shouted. “If that doesn’t prove it, nothing will.” She blinked. “That’s the truth, isn’t it? Jake can’t reconcile with you because you won’t let him. Not because he doesn’t want to.”

That was the truth. All these years, I had thought I hadn’t tried hard enough to make up for the way I treated Amy, and it really came down to Amy didn’t want to forgive me. She liked wielding the power of unforgiveness.

I drug in a deep breath of frigid air, shoving my hands deep in the pockets of my coat. “If you ever want to act like a real sister, Amy, I’ll be ready.” I headed down the sidewalk, Rachel falling in step beside me.

“You were never a real brother to me.” Amy’s quiet voice sliced through the snowflakes.

I stopped. “Not when we were kids. But I am now.”

“You got that right,” said Rachel, giving me a tired smile.

We turned the corner at the end of the block, and I didn’t look back.

For more photo prompts to inspire endings, click here.

How Could This Scene End a Story?

Since December’s the last month of the year, this month’s theme of crafting endings seems more than appropriate. My photo prompts will be selected to inspire endings. But how can you write an ending without a beginning? It’s easy if you’re brain works like mine, although I wouldn’t wish that on you. Climaxes or wrap-ups are often the first thing I think of when I start to formulate a story. I’ll write more about that later this month, but for now–how could this scene end a story?

Here’s my inspiration. Please put your inspiration in the comments below.

I placed Noah on the sled. And he sat there. He didn’t leap off with an alarmed look on his sweet face. He just sat, waiting, trusting me.

It had taken deathly threat to get here, but it was worth it.

A lump clogged my throat, but bursting into happy sobs would confuse or even scare Noah.

Swallowing, I picked up the rope tied to the sled and broken into a huge smile. “Ready to ride?”

Giggling, he nodded and bent over the steering wheel, and we were off.

Fore more photo prompts about endings, click here.

Plots Points for NaNoWriMo

Need plot points for NaNoWriMo? Now that NaNoWriMo is more than half over, you may be running out of inspiration, especially when it comes to plot. For me, keeping a plot fresh is the hardest part of writing. Below are some suggestions to reignite inspiration as you head toward your goal for NaNoWriMo.

Let settings suggest plots twists.

A chase in a blizzard is different from a chase in torrential downpour. Shadowing someone in New York City is different from shadowing someone at a county fair. When you delve deep into a setting, the unique qualities of it will suggest plot points.

Let characters’ personalities suggest plot twists.

Do you have a character who doesn’t bother to filter her comments? Let that habit kick off a plot twist. An introverted character who keeps a secret could serve a similar purpose.

Fight stereotypes

If you have a cheerleader, make her a nice one. How would that change your plot? Turn your main character’s best friend–the quirky one with all the best lines– into an antagonist. Give your teen MC one parent who actually understands him. Fighting stereotypes can freshen your writing and produce potential plot points.

Have the main character lose something critical or gain something unexpected.

In my novel, A Shadow on the Snow, my teen detective Rae Riley is an amateur photographer. Shortly before her mother died, she gave Rae a camera. The camera is stolen during the story. That theft added so much to the plot.

Still need plot points for NaNoWriMo? Click here for more inspiration.

What do you do when you need fresh ideas for plot?

Portraits for NaNoWriMo

As you work on your first draft for NaNoWriMo, you might run into writer’s block or at least a snag. If that problem concerns creating a character, check out these portraits for NaNoWriMo that I’ve selected. When I’m looking for a new character, I need a face that captures my attention and makes me wonder about a personality that might fit with it. If one of these portraits inspires a character, let me know!

I like the expression on the girl’s face. She’s either watching something or daydreaming. Either way, the portrait gives you a sense of the mind behind the face.

Maybe a good heroine for a historical or fantasy story?

For more character portraits for NaNoWriMo, click here.

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑