Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The End

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?


  1. The ending is the toughest thing for me to write. I usually have given myself a migraine and completely exhausted by the time it is over. So exhausted in fact that I don't go back to the manuscript to edit it for a month.

  2. Yes, good points. My endings? Funny you should ask. That's my blog topic this week (it's not good).

  3. My endings always suck, so I'll have to follow some of this advice! :)

  4. Because I'll be using certain items and characters down the line, I can leave some things open ended, but in terms of the story, things had to be resolved and have endings. It felt when I got to the end that I'd wrapped up everything that needed to be done. The final scene was something I'd wondered about, going in, how it would turn out, but it ended up being surprisingly smooth to write.


Please validate me.