Careful not to ruin your endings it steals the joy from a story
I was listening to a very well told story last week about a woman struggling with infertility. It was heartfelt, humorous, cleverly constructed, and well framed.
Outstanding in every way except one:
I knew that she was going to ultimately get pregnant 30 seconds into the story, and when you know the ending of story before you’ve reach the ending, it steals a lot of the joy from a story.
Admittedly, telling an infertility story while keeping the possibility that you don’t end up with a baby is hard, but it’s doable. Over the course of my storytelling career, I have told two stories wherein the ending was so obvious from the get-go that it took me two years and three years respectively to figure out a way to tell each one while keeping the ending a mystery.
A lot depends on misdirection.
Also the creation of multiple, believable, realistic possibilities.
Sometimes you must fool your audience into belieiveing they are in one kind of story instead of the other.
Think Fight Club. The Sixth Sense. The Usual Suspects. The Others. The Village.
It’s not easy, which is why it took me years to figure out a way of telling each of those stories.
Curious about the stories?
See if you can find the element of the ending I was trying to hide near the end of the story.