Writing Workshop: “The Help” Part Four

Check out this post to see what this is all about.

This covers chapters 27-34.

The Storyfix Take

The Purpose of Part Four

The End.

That’s what this whole section is about. Larry says the “only real ‘rule’ for our endings is this: it must remain true to the story just told, and reward the reader with something that resonates.” It must do this while still providing a sense of story, not just a wrap-up.

“Kathryn Stockett begins setting up the ending of ‘The Help‘ at the Second Plot Point, which occurs on page 452 (of the trade paperback edition) when Miss Skeeter tells her co-authors that Harper and Row has accepted their book for publication.” Larry Brooks

It’s a subtle ending, but it follows the rules and does its job.

Lady Myers’ Take

The End.

Are there any worse phrases in a reader’s life? Sometimes it physically hurts me to come to the end of a book. I’ve been so drawn into a world that I don’t want to leave it, yet I know that an ending is necessary for a complete experience.

Even the best book would be ruined by refusing to end when it should. The only time the pain is somewhat mitigated is if a good book is followed by a sequel, or several. That’s why I like the fantasy genre so much; there aren’t many stand alone books and sagas can continue for decades.

Not so with “The Help.”

Things are wrapped up. We find out about what happened with Constantine, what the “Terrible Awful” was, the destiny of the book, Skeeter’s relationship with Stuart, Minny’s decision to leave her husband, and Aibileen’s next step.

But it’s not all rosy, not completely satisfying, which is in keeping with the tone of the book. Yet I feel okay letting go of the book. I enjoyed my time with the characters, and I’ve appreciated delving into a subject that is so important. I know that while I would enjoy seeing more, the context wouldn’t be right.

At least I still have the movie to look forward to!

Your Turn

How do you feel about endings in general and this one in particular?

Let me know in the comments.

1 Comment

  1. I hate endings, too, when the characters are so real. I like historical fiction sagas because they can go on and on, forward or backward.

    I felt a little let down by the ending of The Help. That’s happened with other books. Things seemed to come to a close too quickly and in some ways, a little too pat, like Aibileen getting the household hints column.

    Reply

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