Unit 4 Portfolio - The
Have you ever read a book or been to a movie and hated the ending? The ending of a story
is the last impression you get, and a bad ending can ruin everything that came before it. When the
authors of the short stories we’ve read in the Romantic and Realist units wrote them, they made
choices about how they would end them. But hopefully you have a better idea about how to end one
of the stories, and now is your chance to do just that.
The purpose of this assignment is to give you the chance to be the author and take one of the
stories below to a more satisfying ending. While you are doing that, you will also be given the
opportunity to imitate the style the author uses. This will help you to become more familiar with
diction, syntax, and tone.
To do this assignment, review these stories:
"Young Goodman Brown" by Nathaniel Hawthorne
"The Masque of the Red Death" by Edgar Allan Poe
"The Country of the Pointed Firs" by Sarah Orne Jewett
"The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calavaras County" by Mark Twain
"An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" by Ambrose Bierce
“A Pair of Silk Stockings” by Kate Chopin
DO NOT USE THE SIX-TRAIT POWER WRITE MATERIALS!
JUST FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS!
Try to pick a story you like and understand.
Once you’ve analyzed the story to see where it started, where it ended, and what the characters
were like, it’s time to envision your ending.
The ending should—
Resolve the climax and complete the action of the plot,
Use dialogue, action, or description to show (not tell) what happens,
Leave the reader feeling satisfied,
Follow closely the author’s writing style,
If the author writes in first-person, your ending should, too. If it’s written in
third-person, so should yours,
Allow the characters to continue on a logical trajectory the author created
The point is that your alternate ending should flow seamlessly from the end
of the original story.
Your alternate ending may begin at the very end of the original short story, or you may start a
few sentences before the end of the original story. Do not rewrite the story to have it end
differently! Think of this as a relay in which the author ends his or her story, and then you
pick up the story and run with it from where he or she left off.
Begin your alternate ending with a sentence (or just a few sentences) that appears on the last
page of the original short story to transition from the original author's voice to your own.
The finished product should:
Be one or two pages long.
Your story should be thoroughly revised and edited for spelling,
punctuation, grammar and sentence clarity.
Typed in either Microsoft Word, Google Docs (requires a free gmail account), or
the free software from www.openoffice.org
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