All things must come to an End

Friday, March 28, 2008

It is a well known fact that all books must come to an end, even the Harry Potter and the Left Behind series finally had a completed resolution come many books later. But how do you decide how you will tie things up when you are doing the first round of plotting.

Yes there is a high probability that your ending will change as you flesh out your characters and their motivations, but often there are times you have to come up with an ending when you’re pitching your ideas to editors and agents. And YES you do have to tell them the ending. Much of your command of how your story ends reveals your strength and capabilities as a writer. They need to know you can put together a complete story which means a completed resolution to the conflict.

Now comes the question of what type of ending do you use?

A lot of this depends on the genre, so be sure to spend time researching the market of books you’re hoping to slip your manuscript in with.

There is the Happy Ending.
The Bittersweet Ending.
The Surprise Ending.
The Twisted Ending.

Each of these endings and the many other out there have had success at one time or another. But with whichever choice fits your manuscript it is important to consider what you want your reader’s response to be. For most writers they want one of the following responses:

It puts me in a good mood
It makes me remember the book better
It makes me want to recommend it to a friend
It makes me want to read the book again
It makes me want to cry
It leaves me feeling satisfied
It makes me rethink my view of the world

Any of these responses is what’s going to draw your reader to pick up the next book you put on the shelf. Once again, expecting one of the responses above. And no matter your inner reason for writing, the draw of your readership is what’s going to keep you in the good graces of your agent and publisher.

So how will it all end? How will your Hero or Heroine solve the mysteries of your plot line? It is a question we must all face in our writing, cause all stories must come to an end.

For Commenting Fun: What type of endings do YOU enjoy the most?

Happy Writing!

For more on great endings check out Keys to Great Endings by Crista Rucker


Margo Dill said...

I like endings that are satisfying and give me something to think about for a few days. I totally detest endings that do not tell me exactly what happened and leave me guessing. This comes from being an English major in college and reading too many short stories with endings that made me think,"That's it? No more? How could the author do this to me?" I took it very personally. :)
Thanks for your great blog,

Angela Mackintosh said...

Great post, Valerie!

I personally love the unexpected twist at the end that makes me want to reread the book again, or look at the world differently.

I don't like to be able to predict the ending... it's a let down, for me, anyway. Lately, I've seen so many movies where I predicted the ending in the first 15 minutes of the movie. Uhg! That ruins it for me. :o(


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