The Critics’ Corner
Over the years, Bewildering Stories has discussed extensively the connection between work and audience, i.e. how will readers read what you write? So far, some topics have been relatively neglected, particularly:
Endings: The Writer's Craft index covers many important features of composition but has tended to take endings as special cases:
- The footnote in Challenge 234 and Story vs. Vignette talk about endings in terms of narrative logic.
Our translation of La Fontaine’s The Cricket and Ant settles once and for all the question of the “leave it to the readers” equivocal ending.
- Speedways to Literary Oblivion provides what we hope is a unique example of an ironically self-destructive — but nonetheless instructive — non-ending.
In issue 797 — as well as in all others — all of the stories, poems and the essay offer an opportunity to discuss the value of endings.
Do you think the authors’ endings are effective? If so, why?
If not, what might you have done differently? Two considerations:
- Narrative logic, i.e. cause and effect. Does the author’s ending make sense in terms of work’s premise? Would yours?
Relative emphasis, i.,e. consistency of style. Also, does the ending observe a Bewildering principle: “Tell the readers what they need to know, but do not do the reading for them”?
Challenge 797 has some questions that can serve as conversation-starters.