E is for Endings
While it’s true that a strong opening can pull a reader into the story, a strong ending is just as important. A good ending is the reader’s reward for sticking with the story. It not only leaves the reader satisfied, but it will also send them in search of more stories by the same author.
The beginning is all about providing the main character with an overall goal and making him decide to act on it. The middle shows him taking action, or a whole series of actions. The ending deals with the consequences of these actions.
How do you create an ending that delivers?
~ make sure the ending is logical
~ the hero should find a way to solve his own problem
~ resolve any subplot
~ tie up all loose ends
~ leave the reader with a strong sentence, thought or emotion
You cannot promise apples in the beginning of your story and deliver oranges at the end. A satisfying conclusion to a novel happens when the ending is fitting, when the characters get what they deserve, and is definitive, meaning the questions asked at the start of the novel are answered.
There are, of course, degrees of being fitting or definitive. The hero should win, but that doesn’t mean his experience won’t leave him without scars. And although the ending should be clear, that isn’t to say you have to spell out everything for your readers. Sometimes leaving something to their imaginations or curiosity isn’t a bad thing.