I’m a bit obsessed by Endings at the moment, and am currently planning a small event talking about how we do endings in the age of streaming social media. So this post listing 50 endings from Hemingway (hat tip to Hari Kunzru for the link) caught my attention:


What would be the equivalent for participatory/social media? Could we come up with a list of endings for these kind of projects? Could we start building participatory narrative projects from the end, rather than the beginning?







by Matt Lockein Blog


  1. I always plan stories from the end and work backwards.

    My card-game Once Upon a Time has two decks of cards: Story Cards and Ending Cards. You use the former to create a story, building it to a state where you can read the sentence on your Ending card so it makes sense, and win. But every player has a different Ending, and can snatch control of the narrative to bend it towards their Ending instead.

    Once Upon a Time is about fairy-tales and myths, so its endings are pretty simple and archetypal. But if you’re starting to compile a Propp-like list of endings, there are worse places to start.

  2. I have a similar obsession. It started with the first Story and Coney’s presentation about http://smalltownanywhere.net/ It resonated so deeply. Then Mary Hamilton’s LARPing froth just seemed to continue the thought. Well curated.

    We’re really trying to take this thinking through into Everwakethegame.co.uk and NightVision. I think I’ve bored everyone senseless with the phrase ‘Froth’. I’ve been using the analogy with going to the pub for a big night out, this isn’t the story, the story is created over the following days, weeks, months – editing the highlights, creating the myth.

    It will be interesting to see how everwake plays out. We’re trying to keep the experience of the day quite pure but leave a space at the end for player to contribute to an online discussion.

    We’ll see.

  3. Hi Matt,

    this post caught my eye over the weekend. A little late but better late than…

    first off, it caught my attention because i’ve been experimenting with a strand of the hemingway history that doesn’t get much attention: https://hemingwaysmum.wordpress.com/

    But more than that, the part about ‘building participatory narrative projects from the end, rather than the beginning’ really held my attention. To appreciate the endings people are after, I guess you, and they, have to understand what they want to feel by the end of the experience -but this can’t be a fait accompli. They have to work for it but, with the more they put in, they want there to be a guarantee of sorts.

    I’m working on a personal project at the moment that considers the ultimate endings we are each after:
    Those who want to STAND out from the crowd.
    Those lost in the crowd and trying to find a way – any way through.
    And those who want to be part of an outstanding crowd

    Going back to your post, if you can figure out how – not where – people want to end up, you may well be on to something.

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