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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Ending the Story

What should be one of the most important parts of a story or book you're working on? The ending. Many times, we can overlook the ending or not give it as much thought as the the plotting, editing or revising. But a good, solid ending may make or break your sale. You want that editor who is considering your manuscript to practically hear the "good ending" music playing in her head. It should be the big "pop" of your work.

Your ending shouldn't just be a "happy ending" but it should be a satisfying ending. We bring our characters through a long, life changing journey in which they should have learned something. We should have a strong sense of what they learned and why. Why was that lesson important? Does it make them a better person? Friend? Does it teach us something about ourselves or others? Can the readers relate to the story  and connect to it?

In addittion, all or most loose ends should be tied up. We should be able to say, "That's why this happened in the beginning of the story." We should see everything in the story come together full circle.

This seems like a tall order, but if we're careful and plan our story out well, the ending will highlight the story. Like the rest of the manuscript, it takes time, determination and hard work. Then maybe the story will have that "pop" that an editor is looking for. It could just get you that acceptance.

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