This is a problem I do not have much in my writing: knowing when to stop.
I’m kind of an exposition fan girl. I like to stay there, obsess there, and never wrap things up. It is not my strong point, which is problematic for my future as a published author.
So it is odd to find myself in the position I’m in. I began writing what I expected to be a novel about a man and a woman with a complicated history who run into each other as adults and the situations that inevitably arise from an occasion such as that.
However, as I put my pen down at the end of what I was considering to be the first section, I realized I kind of liked the story as it was: enough back story to be interesting and catch someone’s attention, enough development to show how the characters had changed, and a tempting little end that manages to leave things open but not be an obnoxious cliffhanger. My long-winded novel had turned itself into a short story.
I put it away for a few months and came across it again today. I have more to say, certainly, but I don’t know if I should say it. As I mentioned before, wrapping things up is not my strong point. Sometimes characters stay with me even when I have an end in sight for them, and these guys aren’t doing that (I realize that makes me sound crazier than I actually am, but there you go).
So I’m crowdsourcing: how do you know when to stop? Do you like short stories that leave you hanging or do you like everything wrapped up in a nice little bow?