2011-04-06

A to Z Blogging Challenge – Day 5

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.

11 comments:

Jade said...

This is great advice... The end doesn't always need to be surprising or have a twist.
There's nothing like a powerful ending that resonates with the reader beyond that particular story. :)

Bish Denham said...

Most helpful. I personally tend to like happier or hopeful endings.

Jeffrey Pierce said...

Thank you so much for the insight and advice. Beginnings have always come easily for me. Endings? Not so much. This is tremendously helpful. :)

Nofretiri said...

The Mistress of Cliffhangers is writing about proper endings ... very interesting! *g* Before you say anything, serial novels are a whole different thing! I know! :-)

I like the picture of apples and oranges! :-) Thanks for the tips!

Karin

P.S. My topic of the day is E for Einzigartigkeit (uniqueness)

Taryn Tyler said...

Very good advice. For me (as a reader) ending are always the most important part. I can be empressed by a decent book if the ending makes up for it but I will be frusterating with a fantastic book if the ending lets me down. As a writer . . . endings are hard. I never know for sure if my readers are going to be satisfied.

Jennifer Shirk said...

Good points to remember!

Rae said...

Great advice! Thanks.

Alison Runham said...

Some great posts here - you don't seem to have a tweet button so I've posted a link to your blog on Twitter :-)

SweetMarie83 said...

Endings are definitely as important as beginnings - I love those books that have such a perfect ending that they leave me sighing happily, or anxious for more, or really thinking. Great tips on creating a good ending, and just a great post in general! :-)

Jolene Perry said...

It's interesting because all over the blogosphere, everyone screams about beginnings, but let me tell you - no matter how strong your book starts, if you don't end it just as strong, It's not going to get picked up.

Well said.

Also, love your dark banner pic. Awesome.

Tundiel said...

Excellent advice! I always struggle with endings. I'm never satisfied because I fear that it will be insipid, and there is nothing worse then finishing a book with a limp ending.