The Ending

The ending of a book is constructed differently from the beginning. The first chapters introduce the main characters and the conflicts they will face by parsing out just the right amount of information to build suspense and encourage the reader to read on. By the end, all has been revealed and the readers are disengaging emotionally from the book. Having brought them to that point, you want to keep them spellbound to the last word. The only way to do that is to craft a skillful, irresistible ending

The climax of the story occurs when the central conflict has been resolved. The main questions you have so patiently raised in your readers’ minds have been answered. Still, there are secondary loose ends that need to be tied in a neat package. This portion of the plot is called the denouement. I have stressed the need for tight writing in each of my articles, but it is more essential here than anywhere else. Explain any outstanding issues in a concise but thorough manner. Just as they do in everyday life, your readers need closure, especially where your main characters are concerned. They will want to know how each will fare beyond the book’s time frame. Have the evildoers faced justice? Have the good guys received their reward? Are any sympathetic characters who have been harmed during the story going to be all right? Has true love triumphed, or will any romances begun during the story fizzle out?

Dispose of these questions in just a few pages. You may find it convenient to use an epilogue, especially if you want to give your ending some time distance from the climax and denouement. No matter the method for winding things down, satisfy all of your readers’ questions in a succinct manner and leave them smiling.

With the completion of your ending, your first draft is done. Pat yourself on the back. Celebrate a great achievement. And then get back to work. Time to edit and revise.