September 25, 2007 at 7:40 pm Leave a comment

These things are so freaking important. I realized this when I re-read the ending for How Much You Want to Bet? It was okay. It had the happy ending feel to it, but it wasn’t the right ending for these two characters. The heroine is stubborn and opinionated, he could charm the socks off a nun. I saw none of that in the ending. God, forbid it was sappy compared to the characters. For me that was a light bulb moment. You can write an ending, but if it’s not the right way, for your characters, then it’ll fall flat or worst make you gag.

I’ve read many of books where I loved, loved, the beginning, loved the story, but the ending made me not only made me hate the book, it made me despise the writer. How could she lead me on, make me think this was going to be a great book. Damn him/her. No author wants that. I didn’t want that.

How I came about the ending is by bookending. It’s a term used by Jenny Crusie, I’m going to have to dedicate a book to this woman, but it means having your ending mirror your beginning. For instance in Agnes and The Hitman, her recent release with Bob Mayer, the book starts out in the kitchen, the last scene ends in the kitchen. It’s a cue to the reader of the ending, a type of full circle feeling. I swear by it, because it makes my ending clearer. I can see how my characters have changed over the span of the book. How they may have reacted to the same circumstances in the beginning is not how they should react at the end. The journey, yes, makes the ending believable, but if it is so out of character then it negates all the work you’ve done. Your reader stuck with you because of the characters, don’t disappoint them.

To the writers out there how do you know when you’ve written the right ending?


Entry filed under: writing.


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