Writing Challenge: day 57

Second to the last day of the Armchair Genealogist‘s writing challenge! And fittingly today’s topic is about last lines. I’ve honestly never thought about this topic before. At least not consciously. Just another example of how much I have learned and still have to learn about writing. Here are the things that Lynn suggested to consider in writing great last lines in a family story:

  • Your last lines certainly need to bring a sense of finality to your story.
  • Your last line should resonate with your theme.
  • Your last line should be about your main ancestor and his final thoughts.  If you’re writing a memoir, then your final thoughts should be expressed in those last sentences.
  • Your last lines should demonstrate your ancestor’s growth or your growth through your family history journey.
  • Your last lines should slow the pace of your story down and ease the reader to the end.
  • Your last lines can teach a lesson or moral (of course without being preachy).
  • Your last lines should leave your reader with an understanding of how your ancestor’s life proceeded after the story is over.
  • Your last lines should be uplifting and hopeful.

Lynn also talked about writing the ending in advance. It helps in plotting the story to come full circle to the ending you want. She also has four formats to try in writing the last line.

  1. As a line of description
  2. Demonstrating your ancestor’s actions
  3. As a line of dialogue by your ancestor
  4. As an internal monologue by your ancestor or a thought or feeling by you the narrator.

Another excellent lesson by Lynn Palermo!

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