You may or may not know that my goal is to finish up the first draft of my WIP by the end of this month.
What does this mean? It means that I am writing "the end" of my book. Some of you may write your books in a different sequence, but mine is going in order. I am a pantser - and while there are certain plots and points in the story that I know... there is a lot of fill in the blank.
This is hard when it comes to the critical end of the story. I don't about you, but the end of the book is detrimental to whether or not I like the book and what kind of review I would give it. For instance... it can be a phenomenal story with fabulous writing and if the author messes up the end... it's all been for nothing.
The list of "what to do" for the end of your story can be excruciatingly long, so let me just drop a few tips here:
- Tie up loose ends. All those ends you've had hanging throughout your story, need to be tied up by the end.
- Don't make it too easy. Make your protagonist work for it. Don't have everything magically turn out perfect. It's lazy writing and not fun to read.
- Link to your theme. Make sure you've linked to your overlying theme.
- Don't overdo it. This may sound confusing but if you have to put a ton of explanation into your ending, its going to draw away from the overall climax. These are the moments when I think to myself... Shut up and make your point!
- Satisfy your readers. If you're writing a romance we know the couple is going to end up together. You can still be creative in doing so. If you're writing a trilogy, you still need to have a satisfying conclusion while leaving things open for the other books. Find the balance and make sure your reader is satisfied, yet desperately waiting for the next book!
- END IT... or lead into trilogy. If you're book is a stand alone novel, it needs to end on solid ground. Everything answered, all ends tied. Like I said before... with the trilogy's its a delicate balance. Something needs to be achieved in your book. Some sort of conclusion made, while still leaving something for the next book/s.
There is all sorts of other stuff I could add and we could ramble on about the specifics of each one of these bullet points, but the truth is... you need to make it your own. OWN IT! Be creative and make it work in your own way, using your own voice and talents.
What are your feelings about THE END of a story? Do you ever feel like a wonderfully written book can be ruined by a bad ending?