The End . . . of a New Beginning . . .

Just finished “Odd Woman Out”, the weekly-installment book on Wattpad.  Yay!  T’is truly the end, the concluding conclusion, the final farewell.

That got me thinking that a worthwhile venture might be a quick post on what to consider re a book’s ending.

Given the end should prove the apex—the highpoint—of your book/story, you want to close with a bang.  Depending on the genre, tension and excitement will vary.  In a romance, you’ll want the heroine and hero to argue, to detest each other, to bicker, and then to—awwwww—kiss and make up forever and ever.  In a mystery, you’ll need a body or five to impel the protagonist along a twisting trail to determine the demented killer, also known as Evil Villain.  Whatever the genre, though, events and incidents should propel the reader toward a grand finale.

A grand finale can be surprising, unusual, even quirky.  Engage readers’ imaginations.  Tease them if the story/plot warrants it.  What that grand finale shouldn’t be is ridiculous, laughable, or implausible.  And, if you’re writing a series, leave some things unsaid—entice your readers to want to pick up the next book.

If you’re writing for the first time, read books in your genre to get a feel for what works.  Research what makes for good endings.  A one-off/standalone may have your main character(s) change . . . grow up . . . mature . . . become informed.  A series can offer the same, but character growth and development could be extended into the next book(s).

Happy endings are wonderful.  I love them.  Life isn’t always that pleasant and things don’t continuously happen in our favor.  But it’s ni-ice to have things work out in a story.  It provides . . . yeah . . . satisfaction.

But, given your story, maybe things don’t end well.  Maybe the heroine drives off into the sunset, leaving the hero at the side of the road.  Or there’s a surprise (but not unbelievable) twist that has the protagonist doing something unexpected (but, again, not unbelievable).

You don’t have to provide a lot of action to build up to the climax, but you do have to keep your readers’ attention.  Provide for tension and/or friction; get readers involved emotionally.  They not only want to know—they need to know—what’s going to be revealed in the subsequent pages.

In “Odd Woman Out” (“OWO” as I fondly call it), Alex, the protagonist, returns to where she started, but she’s a little wiser, informed, mature.  The story follows her physical—mental/emotional—journey, where she’s learned some difficult, painful lessons . . . . as we all [hopefully] do. wptheend1a

That grand finale is about what’s transpired, been gleaned, and realized.  It’s not just “the end” . . . it’s a conclusion to [another] beginning.

Judy Hogan Writes

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