Writing Books/My New Book


Hello Vincent, it is so nice to be able to speak to such a well respected writer person like me.
I am currently writing a book call "Elidin. The Loney Martian Boy". It is about a small boy called Elidin (which is a popular name in council house areas in Spalding, UK) who is sent here by Martian scientists to explore our World in order to trade with us once they have revealed they exist. Elidin however suffers from severe Martian depression which is commonly found in young adolescent martians between the ages of 45- 90 (which is the teenage years for a Martian as they live till they are 150). Also martian years are slightly shorter, by around seven days. The Martian people want to trade their fruit with us in exchange for cress as there is a shortage of that on Mars, however Elidin just wants to go home and spends most of his time in his human foster parents house depressed.
My question is, now that I have wrote over two hundred pages I do not know how to end it! Please Help!
Thanks and Hup Cheep,

Hi, Graham.

With what you've presented me, I really can't offer you much.  I really don't know what your story is about.  Yes, a depressed Martian... but that doesn't tell me much.  (By the way... a Martian year isn't shorter than an Earth year, but nearly twice as long.)

So what's your story really about?  Is it about depression?  Is it about overcoming depression?  Is it about something altogether different?  I can't tell from your paragraph above.

What's the climax of your story going to accomplish?  Is a problem going to be solved?  Is it about Elidin's personal growth/change?

These things are important for you to know how to end your story.

Keep in mind there are only five possible endings to any story:

1.  The hero gets what he wants and is happy.  This is the familiar ending of romantic comedies, action/adventures, etc.

2.  The hero gets what he wants, but is unhappy.  Here, the protagonist achieves his goal, but it doesnít bring the satisfaction he expected.  Think of the movie The Graduate.

3.  The hero doesn't get what he wants, but is happy anyway.  This is where the hero fails in his goals, but is happy because heís gotten something unexpectedly better.  Many teen love stories follow this pattern Ė boy chases popular girl, only to realize his true love is his nerdy female friend.

4.  The hero doesn't get what he wants, and is unhappy.  Generally, this sort of ending is reserved for unlikable protagonists who get what they deserve.  Sometimes it is used for likable characters who confront their own flaws but refuse to change.

5.  The hero changes his mind about what he wants.  Here, the protagonist realizes the thing heís after isnít really what he wants.  He could then get something else that makes him happy (as above) or he may not, but still be content with this new insight into himself.

Hopefully these will help you a bit.


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Vincent M. Wales


I am a speculative fiction novelist (fantasy, science fiction, and so on). While I may be able to answer questions on non-fiction, my specialty is fiction. Please keep that in mind when asking questions.


For four years, I taught a series of fiction writing classes in Sacramento, CA.

BA in fiction writing.

Awards and Honors
My 2004 novel, ONE NATION UNDER GOD, won BEST FICTION in Fresh Voices 2006, BEST FICTION and BEST YA FICTION in the NCPA Book Awards, and placed as a finalist in BEST BOOKS 2005. In 2002, my novel WISH YOU WERE HERE won awards for Best Fantasy and Best Fiction/Drama in the 8th Annual SPA Awards. My latest work is a trilogy titled THE MANY DEATHS OF DYNAMISTRESS (a superhero memoir). The first book, RECKONING, was released in 2013 and won the SF category in the 2014 San Francisco Book Festival, took second place in the 2013 Royal Dragonfly Book Awards for the SF/Fantasy/Paranormal category, second place in the SF category of the 2013 Reader Views Reviewers Choice Awards, and was finalist in Foreword's 2013 Book of the Year Awards, Fantasy category. The second book, REDEMPTION, will be released in early 2015 and the final book, RENAISSANCE, is scheduled for release in late 2016.

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