Just like the blank page in the beginning, the last chapter scares the living soul out of every writer. Your story finally got a shape that satisfies you and if the writing has not killed you yet, the story ending will. Drama and beauty need to be Sherlock level. But getting the creative juices to flow and the mind to tailor a spectacular ending might need a few tips and tricks. You’ll also need to be mindful of the following 5 blunders, as they will make your story end badly.
Sometimes it is ok to use transitional sentences and paragraphs to pace the journey and let your reader take in all the action that just happened. The ending however is not a good place to tell them that she put the coffee on the stove and romantically watched as the sun shined once again over the snowy peaks. All the while she was dressed in her… you get the point!
The ending however is not a good place to present the public with long descriptive passages. Try to sprint your way towards the end.
Build your ending as a reflection of your first chapter, not of the book itself. The characters have been presented, even established during the story, and the action has already ended. All you need to do is beautifully braid the loose ends and cement a strong point or address a new question for the sequel.
This one might seem stupid at first. I mean, you wrote the darn thing! But going over your writing is the best way to write a proper ending. We’ve all been there – reading a good book that in the last chapter decided to make no sense at all… Be consistent with your work, do a proper rereading of all the material (yep, even your notes) and write an ending that binds together all your efforts.
The best way to do this is by going over the timelines and the character notes first, then get to the story itself and after this, immediately write the ending. By adopting this strategy, your ending will be in tone with every detail, without being overcrowded by chachkies and knickknacks.
If something is obvious, detail or action, try to trim it or just skip it all together. Details matter, but if your book starts to look like the Oxford Dictionary of Adjectives, you need to call it a day and start editing the life out of it. People know it is morning and the coffee is simmering on the stove, you don’t need to remind them of every mundane aspect of life. Just tell the story they came to hear, not the obviousness of life.
And another one to remember – all the writing lessons you took – forget them. Learn the rules so that you can gracefully break them. Nobody cares if you used connectors properly and nobody will count the adjective to adverb ratio. All you need to think about is your story. Is it properly paced? Is it wonderfully worded? Does your ending make any sense?
This one works for everything you write. When you reread your story ending, do you skip parts? You have to do this by yourself and trust the process – go over your pieces by actually loudly reading them. If you feel the need to murmur or just skip it all together, your reader will feel that need too. So be kind to your ending and just cut out the boring parts.
Also, this technique works wonders for any part of your writing. Trust yourself enough to fix the rough patches and create a smooth essay of interestingness. But don’t do this in public! It’s enough for your parents that you are a writer!
5. Building up is overrated – start strong, finish stronger
We all have that friend that starts telling a story, goes on and on and on about all the irrelevant details, forgets the point they were trying to make, just to remember it fifteen minutes later when you already moved on in your head. Don’t be that friend! Really now. Don’t! Your story needs to stay strong or else there will be no reader to go over your majestic finale. Think of a TV series. If it start with 16 bad episodes, but the 17th and the 18th are really good, will there be anybody besides their momma watching the good ones?
Think of your ending like the moment you finished seeing a movie with your friends. If the movie was iffy, there’s not much to say about it. But if the movie was crazy good, you’ll remember lines from it for a very long time. Build a strong story and the last chapter will write itself. When you are recapping a strong story before writing the ending, it will be easier to crown your work. So forget the infinite building of the moment – start strong, stay strong and you will finish with a bang.
In the end, don’t forget that it’s hard to judge your baby. Reading it aloud, going over the sketches and notes and trying to avoid the slums of adjectives will save you a lot of grief. But the way to go is to have a friend read your work. Let them test drive your story and tell you what they skip, what they love and what they genuinely hate about it. Then take your pen and make it shine!
Image credit: Pixabay
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://writingtipsoasis.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Larisa.png[/author_image] [author_info]Larisa Elena Muntean is an experienced writer and editor specialized in self-publishing and internet presence. Larisa oversaw the publication of more than ten books, is the editor in chief of an environmental protection journal and has collaborated with a variety of blogs and magazines. [/author_info] [/author]