The end of your novel is about characters

Lots of stuff is going on at the end of your novel. There’s action and revelation and emotional upheaval. But it all must be presented in terms of what’s happening to the people.

Ideally, your characters will be proactive. There’s probably a whole other blog post in that. Characters who have stuff happen to them are far less interesting than characters who make stuff happen. So, as much as possible, rely on character action and agency rather than circumstance and accident. This is true throughout the story, now that I think of it, but it’s especially important in your climax and denouement. Continue reading

Craft a satisfying ending

Writing books seem to give less attention to endings than they do to other elements of fiction. Yet a satisfying ending is a necessity. An unsatisfying ending will produce negative reviews, eliminate word-of-mouth referrals, and ruin your chances of getting repeat readers.

Nobody reads a mystery to get to the middle. They read it to get to the end. If it’s a letdown, they won’t buy anymore. The first page sells that book. The last page sells your next book.—Mickey Spillane

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