Your ReFoReMo Co-Coordinators
As the sun sets on ReFoReMo 2017, we’re not about to let the ending fall flat. The best endings roll around to the beginning and leave the reader with a craving for more. In 2016, we wrote a post on Bold Beginnings. Where there’s a beginning, there must be an ending, right? We’ll start you off with two examples, and let you explore the remaining mentor texts mentioned in our previous post.
Ending Style: The ending surprises and makes you wonder--a delightful ending that leaves you craving more.
Beginning: “When Baby Billy was born, his family noticed something odd. He had a mustache.”
Ending: “‘There, there’ she said. ‘Everybody has a bad mustache day now and then.’
‘Let’s dry your tears,’ his father said. ‘The new neighbors have a baby who is your age. He’s coming over to play.’ DING DONG.” The last page is an illustration of a smiling Mustache Baby facing his new playmate, a baby with a beard!
When we compare the beginning with the ending, we see that it could be seen as a roll-around ending...starting and ending with facial hair.
The ending is unexpected, yet perfect. The ending leaves me craving for more. How will the playdate go? Will Mustache Baby like Beard Baby? When the second book (Mustache Baby Meets His Match) came out, I couldn’t wait to find out what happened with Mustache Baby and Beard Baby.
Carrie’s Pick: The Monstore by Tara Lazar (a ReFoReMo 2015 presenter) & James Burks
Ending style: Ties the ending back to the beginning- A perfect roll around.
Beginning: “At the back of Frankensweet’s Candy Shoppe, under the last box of sour gumballs, there’s a trapdoor. Knock five times fast, hand over a bag of squirmy worms, and you can crawl inside… THE MONSTORE.”
Ending: “So now...at the back of their crooked old bike shed, under a box of rusty roller skates, there’s a trapdoor. Knock five times fast, hand over a bag of squirmy worms, and you can crawl inside… THE MONSTORE 2. Just remember: No returns. No exchanges.”
Comparing the beginning to the ending, it is easy to see how this ties together perfectly. It comes full circle! The contrast comes down to:
- Frankensweet’s Candy Shoppe vs their crooked old bike shed
- The last box of sour gumballs vs a box of rusty roller skates
The structure is familiar, yet fresh! And oh, so clever. Which creates immediate satisfaction. Then there’s the last line, “No returns. No exchanges.” which is used several times throughout the story. Knock out!
Take the time to compare and contrast beginnings and endings. Learn from those that satisfy. After reading and researching so much in just one month, we know you are exhausted. But we also hope you are craving more and ready to roll around to the beginning of a new, more informed chapter of your writing career. If you haven’t already, it’s time to turn your mentor text research to your work in progress.
- Where does your story fall flat?
- What have you learned about writing from what you read this month?
- And of course, how can you improve your ending and make it a surprise, yet inevitable?
As you keep reading new picture book releases, ask yourself these questions:
- How do you see the market changing?
- What remains ever true and consistent?
- What trends are vanishing?
- How do the newest releases tap into original concepts?
Although ReFoReMo 2017 is coming to a close, your reading and research should carry you to new, educated heights.
We’ve got two more days of celebration ahead of us. Don’t miss gratitude tomorrow and prize entries on Friday!