How to Write the End of a Novelby. C. Patrick Schulze
Listen to a PODCAST of this article.When I finished my first manuscript, low those many years ago, I hit the enter key a few times,center aligned my text and typed, "The End." The problem? I'd completed my novel but not mystory. I had yet to learn how to write the ending to a novel, and didn't realize it doesn't matter
your novel ends as much as
it ends.Yes, to finish a novel is one trick, but to end your story is quite another. There are certain aspectsto the ending of your novel that should be taken into account before you stop writing. Forexample, have you used one of the four unacceptable endings?As to endings, I've found five general types, though I'm certain others would disagree with myevaluation. The ending types I've discovered are:1.
The hero gets what he desired and ends up happy.2.
The hero gets what he desired but is not happy about it.3.
The hero does not get what he desired but is happy about it anyway.4.
The hero does not get what he desired and is unhappy about it all.
The hero finds his original goals were flawed and now doesn't care if he attains them ornot
Do you see other potential endings?Now for some tips on how to write the end of a novel.1.
Make it satisfying to the reader. That is, the good guy wins and the bad guy loses.2.
Tie up all those proverbial loose ends.3.
Give your reader enough information so they know the story is over.4.
Make the ending logical and see that it flows from the preceding parts of the book.5.
Ensure your ending delivers as much emotion as did the beginning and middle.6.
With that in mind, make certain your reader feels the same emotions as your hero.7.
Draw it naturally from your characters' personalities.8.
Give your reader enough information to envision your characters' futures.9.
Have your hero solve his own dilemmas.10.
Resolve all subplots before you end.11.
Finish with as strong a sentence as you started.To create that resounding ending you might try these tricks. Create a link between your story andlarger issues of life. Think only the strong survive or justice for all. You might have your finalsentence reinforce the theme of your story. For example, you may have your love interest tellthe hero she'll love him forever, regardless his flaws. You might have your last sentence explain