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The Beginning and the End: An Interview with James Scott Bell


Today's guest is bestselling and award-winning author James Scott Bell. We talk about two of his many nonfiction books for writers, The Last Fifty Pages and Plotman to the Rescue.

From the first book, Jim talks about the Ahhh and the Uh-Oh types of endings. There can be a satisfying ending where it all works out for the protagonists, or at the end, when things seem to have worked out, the reader glimpses some little thing that says something bad might still happen, like at the end of Stephen King’s Pet Semetery.

There are genre conventions for some books like the happily ever after in romance, but there are all kinds of shapes to endings. As an author, you need to find the right trajectory for your ending. Not having any idea what it is can lead to a lot of rewriting or a less than satisfactory ending for readers.

Plotman to the Rescue is a reference book to find the problem you’re having with your story and some suggestions on how to fix it. Jim has so many creative suggestions for writing books – this is a great episode for any level of writer!

You can find out more about Jim, his books, and his teaching on his website. He can also be found on Patreon where you can read his short fiction before anyone else!


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