No doubt we could find a book on endings, hundreds of pages–scratch that–thousands of pages, a tome on endings. Nearly too much to consider as a beginning writer.
Endings are hard.
My high school swim coach always told me to end well. “No matter what,” he’d say. “End well.” It was good advice then, and even more so decades later. End well in the pool, at work; and for those of us who write, on paper. To end a novel well it seems one must tie up loose threads, but now that I say so I guess you may not want to tie things up at all. You love a good cliffhanger instead? Or a classic tragedy? So many choices. May I repeat: endings are hard.
Better than tying up everything into a pretty package, maybe we can all just agree that endings must serve the story, and hopefully, at least for this reader, satisfy the reader.
A satisfying ending is a great gift, really the last chance we have as writers to imprint our characters onto our readers. Traditionally there are five types of endings (though we know that there are many more). Will your ending break with tradition? I hope so.
But in case you’d still like to know the Top Five:
And maybe, more important than the resolution itself, are the last lines. They are the last breath of the book, you decide whether to make the reader inhale or exhale with those final words.
Will you write your grand ending today?
Posted on: March 31, 2016
Tags: writing tips