Jump to content

Writing challenge 2: The End Is the Beginning


Recommended Posts

Exercise: Write the ending or epilogue to a novella or novel. It can be something you are working on, have worked on in the past, or to something entirely new. It can even be a new ending to a published work. It can be the last few paragraphs, the last page, or the last chapter. (Yeah, I know a Cracked article mentioned something similar to this recently, but it's a good one.)


Limitations: None






1. Follow the scenario/exercise description and limitations.


2. Everyone's work is independent. You can borrow ideas from posts belonging to other people, but you can't take over or interfere with someone else's continuity or characters. Come up with your own.


3. Make sure your writing is comprehensible. Use the best spelling and grammar you can. It doesn't have to be perfect (especially if English isn't your first language), but at least read over it once or twice and run a spellcheck on it before you post.


4. Don't be overly negative, especially if you aren't participating. It's okay to ask questions or comment on someone's writing. It's okay to provide helpful critiques if a person asks for it. But don't just complain, or point out flaws without the author first giving permission, and especially don't insult anyone or their work.




Dikiyoba will do another scenario challenge for topic #3. Have fun!

Link to comment
Share on other sites


A large orange tabby cat with wings jumped out of a nearby tree. Tenderpaw recognized her easily. Her fur had taken on a richer hue, her scent was milder, she seemed to have grown even larger, and of course there were the wings, but it was recognizably Tigerheart. And her voice confirmed it. “You mousebrain. Why am I not surprised to see that you died by a stream?”


The shock and joy of seeing Tigerheart freed Tenderpaw from his disorientation and despair. He staggered to his feet. “You have wings. You’re a starspirit!”


Tigerheart’s wings were even larger than the rest of her. Her fur grew along the front edge of her wings, than gave way to orange-red feathers. The large primary feathers at the outside tip of the wing had black tips, creating a black stripe. Tigerheart caught Tenderpaw staring at them and folded them up until they were only two mounds of fur. “They’re nothing special. I bet your wings will grow in soon enough. Here, let me take a look.” Tigerheart walked around Tenderpaw, inspecting him closely. “Aha! They’re growing in already. Look at this loose skin.” She bit a patch of skin along his ribs and stretched it out. “You’ll probably start feeling some new muscles developing soon, but it’ll be a few days at least until the bones start growing.”


Tenderpaw turned his head to look. “Will it hurt?”


“Nope. Now that you’ve left your Earth body, nothing will ever hurt again. Come on, it’s a long journey to the Skytree.”


“You’re taking me to the Skytree? I thought the Skycats did that.”


“Starspirits often guide the ones they know to the Skytree. It allows the Skycats to focus on other things. Besides, we’re less intimidating. Who would you rather have, me or Suncat?” Tigerheart swiped playfully at Tenderpaw’s front legs.




“Well then.” Tigerheart paused to lick smooth a patch of fur. “Whenever you feel ready, we’ll go.”


“I’m ready.”


This is where our story ends. Our heroes, reunited at last, journey together, traveling east, toward the mountains, and the Skytree, and the sunrise. Although the sun is just over the horizon, you can still see the stars, reminders to help each other out, take action despite being afraid, to always be ready to rethink your opinions, and nine thousand other things besides.



This exercise features Dikiyoba’s current, very-long term project. You’ll probably see more of it in later exercises. This ending feels far too short and a bit too sappy. Maybe Dikiyoba will try an ending that doesn’t involve the afterlife later.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hmm, don't know if this counts, but here's my epilogue for the Dust Bowl campaign. I don't know if it ever got posted; if it has, oops! I remember having fun writing it:

They had asked Rhodarek to speak a few words, but the priest had given them an affronted look. “She was not of the sea. What good is it to speak of her now?” was all he said before he walked away. So, without any further ceremony, Wybren and Seela began shovelling dirt onto the shrouded form in the grave. Wybren could tell Seela wasn’t focused on the task, as she kept glaring at Drogas, who was trying some practice swings with Meghann’s flail. Noticing her, the goblin dropped the weapon back on the pile of equipment. “Eh, think I’ll stick with my mace. Wench had an eye for good weapons, though, I’ll say that.”


Seela hissed through her teeth, and Drogot looked up from his spellbook and chuckled. “Sound like you hit a nerve there.”


“Ah, probably not showing respect for our late fearless leader, is what,” Drogas responded. “She’s right. M’lady was a good fighter.” A pause. “For a human.”


The goblin ducked as a shovel flew over his head. Seela looked ready to jump across the grave at Drogas, but Drogot silently dropped his book and stood beside the other goblin. After a moment of tension, Seela turned around and stormed away from the camp. “I’m going for a walk,” she announced to no one in particular.


Drogas gave a snaggle-toothed grin at Wybren, which he tried to ignore. “You going to throw a shovel at me too? No? Fine then.” The goblin sauntered back to his tent. “Make sure you don’t burn my roast tonight!”


Drogot chuckled again. “You should never have told him you used to be a hireling. Got to keep dirty secrets like that hidden in this trade.” He picked up his book and walked away. “I’m off to share a pipe with the dwarf. Make sure you wash your hands before you cook supper.”


Wybren finished covering the grave in silence. He felt a bit awkward when he finished; Meghann had been a devout follower of Mariona. Was he supposed to pray or something? He ended up just bowing his head a couple of times and walking slowly away. Then he wondered where Adrixiana was.


He found the lacewing in a clearing a ways from the camp, writing in one of her journals. Wybren sat on a rock opposite of her and scowled. “The goblins being disrespectful, I can understand. But you -- you could have least showed up for the burial, Adrixiana. Don’t you feel anything at a time like this?”


“I can’t afford to feel anything at a time like this. I’ve told you before, Wybren; the songsmith is the emotional core of the group. We must keep the spirits of the others buoyed at all times, and keep their minds occupied when misery is all around them. We can’t do that if we ourselves are distracted.” She gave a puzzled look at the elf. “Why is this bothering you so much? Surely you’ve dealt with fallen companions before.”


“It’s just- it’s been thirteen months. Thirteen months, we were all together. It was like- like nothing could touch us. You and I, Meghann and Seela, Rhodarek, even the Drog brothers. We were a team, like a family. Almost like a family...” Wybren trailed off; he doubted the emotionless lacewing would understand. “If you’re supposed to be the ‘emotional core’ of the group, why aren’t you back at camp right now?”


Adrixiana ignored the question. “I’ve been thinking about where we should go next. Ona, perhaps. You could really hone the craft on Ona.”


“Ona!” Wybren sputtered. “Seela would never last on Ona! I would have a tough time there -- too many people could tell I’m part human. Why would you suggest Ona?”


“Seela won’t be coming with us. And I think you know why.”


Slowly, reluctantly, Wybren nodded. “It’s over, isn’t it? The group. Without Meghann around, no one’s going to keep the Drogs in line. Seela’s going to leave, probably Rhodarek too.” He scuffed his shoe on the ground. “After all this time, we split up, just like that?”


“To tell you the truth, I was thinking about leaving before the fight happened. Think about it, Wybren -- Ona! I could make a fine living performing for the nobility there. With more training, so could you. You can’t be an adventurer all you life. I see you’ve improved your archery slightly with Seela’s help -- though I don’t know why you insist on carrying around that ridiculous sword-”


“Hey! It was my father’s!”


“The point,” Adrixiana said over his interruption, “is that one day, you’ll be the one in the grave. You’re not a bad shot with a crossbow, Wybren, but apart from that, you don’t have what it takes to survive as an adventurer. Do you really want to be a hireling for the rest of your life? Do you remember telling me why you started working as one?”


Wybren nodded sullenly. “I had to raise coin for- you know full well why!”


The lacewing’s face remained expressionless. “Keep that goal in mind. Then ask yourself how you can serve it best. Tag along with Seela and the others if you must. Protect the innocent, fight the guilty, do all the things that she and Meghann nattered on about. But in the end, you’ll still be scraping by as a hireling, if not dead. That’s not going to do you or your goal any good. Or you can train further with me on Ona. It’s your choice.”




“I’m not sure she was right,” Wybren whispered to himself.


“What? ‘Course I’m right,” Leitha said from her soup. “Why wouldn’t I be right?”


“Not you, Leitha, someone- oh, never mind.” He picked some more at his plate of food. Not everyone had wanted to come to the tavern after meeting with Mayor Krila, but Wybren and Gramzon had insisted it was a fitting way to end their adventures. Everyone was gathered around one table -- everyone besides Eric, that is. Wybren could sympathize: he had broken a leg pretty badly before. At least Eric was in high spirits when they left him on Ouracasos.


The conversation died down, and Wybren cleared his throat. “Look, everyone, I just wanted to say this. We- we did good back there. Stopping Vurziveh, that- that felt good.” He looked at everyone around the table. “I doubt anyone is interested, but, well, I’d consider it an honour to work with any one of you again.”


One by one, they declined. Gramzon said he had to spend some time with his brother, and Xiriatl pointed out that his alchemy shop wasn’t going to rebuild itself. Eva stated that she had to return to Tanan, and went back to sipping her coffee silently. Leitha just continued eating her soup.


“And what about you?” Gramzon asked with a smile, holding the steaming mug of tea that Wybren had bought him. “Where will you be off to next?”


“I’m not sure yet,” Wybren responded. “Perhaps Ona. You can always find a job on Ona. Then again, maybe not. I’ll have to see...”





“Ah, I was wondering when you’d show up,” Sergeant Ruos said, walking down the pier. “I’ve talked to the merchant from Boranis; he won’t mind making a stopover at Ussen. Don’t worry; he’s as trustworthy as they come. He’ll get your letter and money delivered.”


“Actually, I’ve changed my mind.” Wybren had done some thinking after the others had left the tavern. And before that, he had done some thinking as he watched Kheini’s soldiers, Selika’s sailors, and Forglung’s goblins work together on Ouracasos. He had always left immediately after he completed a job. But by having to wait just a week, he was faced with how he and his comrades had helped change the island for the better. Adrixiana had always encouraged him to focus on surviving each job, getting paid, then moving to a better one, but now he wasn’t so sure. Seeing Seela again, and fighting Vurziveh, Coloviristineit, and the other wizards, had reminded him of the optimism he had when he first started working as a hireling and adventurer, before it had be squashed by Adrixiana and others. Perhaps it wasn’t as blind as he had thought.


“I’ve decided to go with him myself.” It had been a long time since he had visited his family. For all he knew, his sisters could all be married by now. His brother would be old enough to work now; it could be he didn’t need to keep sending part of his earnings home. He doubted he’d be able to settle down on the island like his father had, though. Perhaps the attitudes of people like Eric and Gramzon had rubbed off on him, but Wybren wanted to continue adventuring, to help people instead of just make money from their problems. Besides, adventuring was in his blood. And after over a decade, he couldn’t imagine doing anything else.


“And then... I’ll have to see where I’m needed.”


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

This is the first Chapter of my fan fiction but it's also the epilogue of the story.



"Sucia island has been Barred. Now we leave. Many supplies are being left behind. I have not explicitly listed them since, by the time we return, many of them will have spoiled or otherwise been made unusable. A fresh list must be made at that point.

Defniel, Corata and Danette boarded a boat away this morning. All were upset, Corata especially. He arrived late, and we feared that he may have to be secured. Something was odd there, but it is none of my concern.

I know much of what was done here. I saw the presentations. I saw the results. And, to whoever comes here later, whoever reads this, I want you to know this. The leaders were angry when Sucia was Barred. But most of us? We were not.

Our leaders see the glory. But they do not see the risk. We are all sad at what is being lost. But we are glad that Sucia has been Barred. And we hope it remains ever so."


- Vandrik [1] docker of Sucia isle.


At the end of the eastern docks, a band of Cryodrayks and Battle Betas creations are looking at a small, wooden sailboat as it recedes into the horizon across rough waves.

The ship has several pairs of oars. It is a small craft, only large enough for a few people, and the mast is not even erected. A synod of black angels circles the boat. The choir of trumpeting birds are following the small seacraft, using it as they see fit.


Inside the boat, lone hooded figure at the oar is tying to erect the mast and to figure out how the sails work. His name his Andras. The black robed Shaper has left Sucia isle for the mainland which grows in front of him, leaving for the changing horizon of a better future and leaving the products of his skill and work behind him. As he rows the green mile that cuts him from the mainland, his hands glows under the dark sky, it too rolling towards the mainland.

A storm is about to hit.


[1]The name Vandrick, is composed of Van, "of", and Drik or Dric "the people".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...