How to Craft Strong Endings

How to Craft Strong Endings
August 9, 2016 2 Comments Writing Advice J.K. Allen

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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J.K. Allen Julia Allen received her BA in Creative Writing and English from Michigan State University. She did her senior thesis in poetry under the tutelage of Diane Wakoski, but has been focused primarily on fiction as of late. Common writing themes that can be found in her work address identity and the type of strength that can be found in ordinary people. Julia is currently working on a Young Adult fantasy novel and can be found at local cafes in her hometown when writing, and painting, drawing, or reading when not.
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  1. 2 Comments

    Ohita Afeisume

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

    Reply
  2. 2 Comments

    JULIA

    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.

    Reply

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