Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Ending Do's

Yesterday, we talked about what not to do when writing an ending for your novel. What about ending do’s? Here’s a list:

Conflict Resolution: Make sure your character’s conflict is something that can be resolved in a believable way.

Demonstrate the Character’s Growth: The main characters should’ve grown in some way by the end of the story.

Reward the Reader: This goes along with #2. The reader wants to see that because of this character growth, the hero and/or heroine is better able to deal with whatever else may come into their path (even after the story has ended).

Keep the Focus: While there may be other subplots that should be worked out, the main plot is the one that NEEDS resolving. SOME subplots can be left open to the reader’s imagination, but be careful with this. If the wrong subplot is unfinished, the reader will feel cheated.

Don’t Forget Theme: Ensure your theme is consistent from the beginning to the end of the novel.

Give your readers what was promised early in the story and they’ll eagerly await your next release.

Are there any ending do’s you’d recommend?


  1. For authors writing series, I strongly suggest having each book come to a conclusion. That can be done with plenty of suspense for things that lay ahead for the characters, but not with a major part of the plot left unresolved. I won't name the book but I recently decided not to pick up the second book in a series because the first one ended in the middle of a scene! It was like a chapter break, not a book ending, and I felt manipulated. My 2 cents.

  2. One problem I have with romantic novels is that I can't see the couples together in five years. There isn't enough of an arc for the hero and heroine to show change.

    I like a denouement scene at the end. It gives me a chance to appreciate the characters.