Writing endings is hard for me. Not the last chapter ending, but the last paragraph that says good-bye to the beloved characters forever.
I recently finished the rough draft of the third and final book in the Destiny Trilogy. When I knew I was nearing the end, I thought about the feelings I wanted to leave the reader with. I think that thinking about the feelings you want to leave your reader with is the key to making your ending all you want it to be. Do you want readers to feel excited and ready for another adventure? Do you want them to be pensive and think back on the story? Do you want them to be sad?
As I was getting to the end of the Destiny Trilogy, I was feeling sad at saying good-bye to Maria and the rest. They had become like friends to me. I wanted the reader to have a fulfilling ending but one that captured the idea that Maria continued, even though we weren’t going to be reading about it. She may have found her purpose, but she had a lot of life ahead of her. We may be saying good-bye, but it wasn’t the end for Maria.
Whatever emotions you want to leave the reader with, here are a few things you might want to keep in mind.
First, make sure that the reader is satisfied. No one wants to come to the very end of the book and feel let down. It may not be the climax of your book, but it should tie up any loose ends, unless of course you are setting up for a sequel.
Second, there shouldn’t be any surprises. The end is not the time to put plot twists; it is the time to finish untwisting the plot. Even if you are setting up for a sequel, major plot twists should not, in my opinion, happen in the last chapter. It makes the reader mad.
Another thing you want to keep in mind is to end on a high note. This does not mean it has to be a happy ending. If the main character dies, a high note would be showing that he/she did not die in vain.
Lastly, choose your words with care. How you say things is as important as what you say in the writing world. Nowhere is that truer than in the last words in your book. You want to be creative in your word choice but not use words that will send you reader looking for their dictionary.
On that note I will say good-bye until next week, when I will share five fun words and their meaning.