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February 1, 2013
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How do you end stories without it being to messy?

:iconbreezy-night:
I'm a young writer. I've been writing short stories for a while now, but I'm beginning to do longer stories with multiple chapters. The thing is I tend to "over-write" I add a lot detail and expand the plot so much that it's hard to see the end. Then when I want to end the story, it seems to end messily and wrap up too quickly. So I will ask you good writers of deviantART, do you have any tips on how to end a story without it seeming too messy?
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:iconsaintartaud:
saintartaud Feb 1, 2013  Professional General Artist
You might try looking into something like the Freytag analysis: [link]
It wasn't really built for novels or short stories specifically, but it can be a helpful way of organizing a plot or simply thinking about how the plot functions.

If you're getting caught up in the detail and the story is getting messy, my suggestion would be to step back and try to break the story down into simpler pieces.  What is the central conflict?  What complicates or impedes resolution of the conflict?  How does the protagonist resolve it?  Getting this kind of focus will help you figure out what details aren't important and what will need to be cut or added in revisions.
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:iconkatara-alchemist:
Katara-Alchemist Feb 1, 2013  Student General Artist
Plan before you write. It will help you keep track of all plot threads, keep the pace good, and know where you want to end so that you can build up to that end in a well organized manner that doesn't feel rushed.
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:iconlytrigian:
Lytrigian Feb 1, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Stop when the story is done. Then go back and cut out the extra bits that make it so messy.
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:iconladyander:
LadyAnder Feb 1, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Try organizing the story before you start so you know where you want to go and where you want to end. My stories got a little more streamlined when I stopped on going into far out unnecessary detail and started thinking about what was relevant to the plot and what was necessary for me to go into and planned just a little bit more.

It also took me writing six novel sized stories to realize it and another three for me to get what I wanted. It's something that takes practice and you identifying what needs to be there and what doesn't. There is also revision. That clears up a good bit as well.
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:iconjustmango:
justMANGO Feb 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I find that having a plan before getting down to the actual writing smooths out the pacing problem a lot.
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:iconmerrak:
merrak Feb 1, 2013  Hobbyist
Revise, revise, revise. Then, revise again. Each time you go through the manuscript, you'll find ways to strengthen it - words that can be cut, scenes that need to be reorganized, holes that need to be filled in. Sometimes it just takes a few rounds to get a good handle on the plot and its delivery.
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:iconbreezy-night:
Thank you! I will keep this in mind. Hopefully it will help.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Feb 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Outline?
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