Finishing another rough draft got me thinking about endings. Yes, I know I said I wasn’t going to work on it for a month, but I never said I wasn’t going to thinkabout it. Plus, I’ve got to post something.
Anyway, creating a satisfying conclusion is one of the most important parts of writing. You have to:
1. Finish the character arcs. Their journeys are done and they have changed, but not necessarily grew or improved. Maybe they even got worse!
2. Tie up loose ends. All of them. In general, books with upcoming sequels are exempt from cleaning up every single thread, but the ones important to that story should be wrapped up.
3. Create a climax that is appropriate and conclusive, then falling action that wraps up everything else.
It sounds a lot easier than it is. Right now, my older, more polished WIP has checked off all these (I hope…beta readers will have to confirm) but the new draft one hasn’t (needs a more powerful BAM at the end). So I bet you can guess the first item on my editing to-do list next month.
What say you about endings? What else do they need to make them a good finish for the novel? How are your endings?