How to Craft Strong Endings

For authors, by authors, one word at a time

How to Craft Strong Endings

August 9, 2016 Writing Advice 2

EndingsEndings can be tricky to determine and to get right. But they are just as important as your openings, which is very important. Endings leave your readers with a final impression of your book and can often make or break your story. So how do we get endings right? Let’s look at some tips for writing your endings.

Endings should connect to your beginning. You don’t want to add any new characters or new information without foreshadowing. And an ending that echoes your beginning is all the more powerful as the reader makes the connection between the two.

The climax needs to be climactic. The climax is meant to be the ultimate thrilling, suspenseful, and fast-paced point in your story. Make sure it delivers.

Your ending needs resolution. Answer the questions posed by your story and resolve story arcs. This goes for books in a series as well. You can leave some overall questions unanswered, but you should resolve the major story arcs for each book.

Avoid a deus ex machina ending. Your endings should be foreshadowed and not resolved by a chance occurrence. Your readers will feel cheated or that your ending is incredulous.

Endings should happen right after the climax and after your protagonist has reached their goal (or failed if you are writing a tragedy).

Make your ending satisfying to the reader. Your ending should match the tone and mood of the overall story and should wrap up each story arc and answer each question posed throughout the story. It should also leave your readers with some picture of the new normalcy of the main characters. Give them a glimpse of their new lives.

Your ending line is just as significant as your opening line. Leave your readers with a powerful last line.

These tips should all help you to craft a memorable ending. Do you prefer happy endings or sad ones? What’s your favorite book ending? Comment below and happy writing.

Julia

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2 Responses

  1. Ohita Afeisume says:

    Please is it proper to end a story with an apt quotation?

  2. JULIA says:

    I don’t think it’s common practice but I can’t think of any rules against it either so you’re probably okay with doing that.

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