There comes a bittersweet moment for every author.
They realize the end of writing the first draft of their book is near.
Then they become filled with a happy panic.
Happy because YES! The goddamn #shittyfirstdraft is finally done. Time to rewrite.
Panic because OMG…time to rewrite.
Rewriting (or, in some cases, dissecting plotlines and revising whole chapters) leads to many Come To Jesus moments with your WIP, one of which could include your ending. Concluding your story can be tricky, but I have three must-haves to guarantee an ending that will have your readers pining for more!
Mature Your MC – There’s nothing more disappointing about reading a book than investing pages into a main character who makes zero changes by the close of the story. Don’t do that to your readers. Give them a character that they can grow with throughout the story. You can use your conclusion to emphasize those changes. Underscore a career upgrade or a better choice in friendship and/or love. Find a clarity in your main character to highlight in your ending to give the reader a content closure.
Learn A New Trick – If this isn’t your first time around the novel-writing block, you’ve likely found your literary voice. You probably have your ending locked in…but take a closer look. Are there any repeated tropes lacing your swan song? Think about the differences between you new MC versus your previous ones. This can kickstart an ending during your rewrite that you had never imagined.
Give ‘Em Something To Remember – One of the best compliments any writer can hope to have is ‘your story stuck with me for ___‘. Doesn’t matter if the blank equals months, days, weeks, or hours. A truly satisfied reader will remember your story after they close the book or e-reader. Guarantee that with your ending. If you are planning a sequel, drop a hint at what’s to come in your next book via your last chapter. Your reader will leave your story panting for more of your words!