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NaNoWriMo Day 29 - Endings

Friday 29th November - Endings

Well, we're pretty much at the end of NaNoWriMo!  If you're anything like me, you'll be wondering where the last month has gone!  It might seem strange to have the penultimate blog on endings, but hopefully this just proves that the end of your book is not the end of the adventure!



On the first blog, I spoke about the importance of beginning a book well and how - in many ways - it's the most important part.  Endings are equally important, but for a totally different reason.  You don't have to hook anyone in, you want to give them a satisfactory ending for the characters they've invested in.

One thing I realised, after several years(!), is that happy endings are never going to be exclusive.  As readers, we invest so much in characters, so by the end what we're really looking for is a contented ending.  The reader will be as lost without these characters as you are, so give them an ending full of hope.  This could be with a stereotypical happy ending, but more often (speaking as a reader here, as well as a writer!) it's by leaving it open for good things to follow.

Here are a few ideas about ending your story:

  1. Life is never easy, but after the rollercoaster you've sent your characters on, make sure you open up the opportunity for it to be as near-as!
  2. You've built your characters into your readers imaginations.  Don't spell out their whole lives, let your readers decide what happens next UNLESS...
  3. ...There's a sequel! But still allow the book to stand alone.  There's bound to be someone who starts in the middle of a series!
  4. Comeuppance is underrated.  Sometimes a satisfactory ending is more about what happens to the antagonist than the protagonist.
  5. There will always be that person who reads the last line first (Grrrr!).  Make sure your ending is slightly ambiguous, just to keep them guessing!
Whatever your ending, just remember: you've built this world, now let your characters (through your readers' minds) continue to live in it.

[Psst! Have you seen this: Power to Your Word]

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