Giving stories power

My style of opening space in workshops has long been to briefly frame the invitation and then ask people to declare the questions they brought to the space.

Yesterday's group brought great questions, and as always experienced an iterative emergence of new questions in the process. Intrigued by my examples of good story beginnings and endings, the question presented about what makes good endings.

The weakest endings just end the story with a last fact, or we say something like "and that's what happened" or in the worst case we tell people what they should take as the lesson of the story instead of empowering them to extract their own.

Good endings answer questions the narrative evokes in listeners. It satisfies the curiosities we intentionally arouse through the story's events, characters and incompleteness. As long as we evoke and answer questions, we can even raise more at the end that don't get answered. You notice this with particularly good novels and films.