Welcome to The Bump House

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Satisfy Me

I have been a bit obsessed this week with novel endings. As a reader, I am a fan of the HEA. It makes me all warm & fluffy. In this post, we will look at the 3 ways to bring the story to a satisfying conclusion.

You Were Saying? - Dialogue. Not the parting words, but the words of closure. As a girl, I think I might be hard wired for the closure thing. Even from my hairdresser - sad! It doesn't have to be lengthy exposition either. Movies are great at accomplishing this. So is television. Remember Kojak & the "Who loves ya baby?" line at the end of the show. This one bit would wrap it all in a neat little bow.

The Pros of Prose - This type of ending is popular because the author gets to finish tying all the bleeders with a bit of writerly flair. Some do it with epilogues; some do not. It's a writer's choice. 'Freedom' by Jonathan Franzen uses this type of ending. And, the reader is left with the sense that all is right in the character's worlds.

Cliff Hanging - There are times when a writer decides a sequel will be forthcoming. And, they might choose a cliffhanger ending. However, it is important to understand that leaving the reader hanging from a thread will not make him/her happy. Special care must be taken with the cliffhanger. Even in a series, the book generally needs to stand on its own. This requires a special touch; wrap/unwrap. Think of it like a fan dancer; she is always careful to cover all the bits, but delivers the illusion that she might let ya see something extra.

However one chooses to end the story is a mesh between the characters & the writers themselves.
Writer/cartographer meets character/delivery person.

Happy Writing,



  1. Interesting post! I prefer an ending with prose instead of dialogue or a cliffhanger; although all three can work well in different circumstances.

  2. Golden,
    I'm a dialogue fan as a writer. But, as a reader I'm not as discriminating.

  3. Hi Patti :)

    I've done one cliff hanger and I guess my next one will be too and then at the end of the third it'll be HEA, or something like it *grin*


  4. Hey Nicole,
    Having read your blog for a while, I can definitely see the cliffhanger as you move through the entire tale. Can't wait!!