08 Nov

Famous Last Words

Posted in Process, Writing, Writing Exercises

Everyone’s always talking about first sentences and how important it is that they make an impact and draw the reader into the story.  But what about the last sentences, the words that stick with readers after they put down the book?

As writers, most of us are wired to take a sentence and write forward from it, but how often do we write toward something, toward an ending?  A classic writing exercise is to take a random sentence from a famous novel and write from there, using those words to jump-start our own writing.  Today I’d like to challenge you all to do the opposite.  Below is a list of last sentences, final words from existing books.  The idea here is to write toward these last words so that they fit as the last sentence of your piece.

Here’s a fun exercise! Choose one of the sentences below and write a short piece with the sentence you chose as the final sentence.

  • No one has claimed them yet.
  • “Let me tell you about it.”
  • Everything must go.
  • “Make me pretty.”
  • …and it was still hot.
  • It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer.  [She] was both.

Bonus points to anyone who can guess which books these sentences come from!


Comments on this post

  1. Caroline Starr Rose says:

    The last one is Charlotte's Web, right?

    1. gabi says:

      Yep! Charlotte's Web is the last one. Any guesses on the others? 🙂

      1. salarsenッ says:

        It was, Caroline. Nice call!! This is an interesting topic, and very important.

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