Monday, April 30, 2018

A to Z - All Things Writing: Z The Satisfying Ending

Welcome to the Blogging A to Z Challenge, where, this month, I'll be focusing on all things writing. This may be a random jumping around of topics within my theme, but hopefully something somewhere will be useful to someone. (V is for vague - see that last sentence.) Check out all the participants here . Now, lets get on with today's letter.

Z is for The Satisfying Ending

I'm sure I've harped on endings before, maybe even last year, but it bears repeating. Stories, all stories, should have a satisfying end. But it's got a sequel. It's part of a series. I don't care. End it. If a book doesn't end in a manner that leaves me a least mostly fulfilled, I'm not ever going to pick up book two.

It's fine to leave some subplots a bit open ended. A happily ever after for now, is perfectly acceptable. We don't need everything tied up in a neat little bow. But we do need closure. The main plot of that particular book should be resolved. The mystery needs to be solved. An aspect of the big bad must be defeated. The couple should get together. You get the idea.

Books that just end like the writer dropped dead at the end of whatever sentence stands at the end of the novel end up denting my wall and go in the donation pile. Books should not end with ( be continued).

Short stories might end with a surprise, a twist. They don't often have a shiny wrapped up bow on top ending. A short story is a much smaller investment of a reader's time so more of an ah-ha moment is sometimes all it takes to be satisfying. A novel, however, needs more closure. We're invested in characters, in the plots, we want to see things through. So make sure your books end. Your readers will thank you.

Thank you for joining me on this year's A to Z adventure. I hope you found a few useful posts this month. Good luck with your writing endeavors throughout the year and I hope you'll stop back to see where I am in mine. 

Would you like a free e-book? This April, I'm giving away free copies of my new anthology, Destiny Pills & Space Wizards. Claim your copy here: Enter code atozpromo
Prefer paperback? The print book goes live on April 20. Reviews are always appreciated.


  1. I've found a few subplots in my novel that I'm not sure how to end, but of course, it's the main plot that must come to an end.

  2. Hi Jean - well done on all your notes on all things writings ... they'll stand us in good stead. I hate poor endings ... and they do leave me cold - cheers Hilary

  3. Oh, that is so true! That is one of my big peeves about some books, and it seems to be more of a trend these days, of just breaking off in mid flow without warning. When I see "book 1" of however many, I know there's more to come but I still expect book 1 to end with some sort of closure. When it doesn't, you can be sure that author is on my "never read again" list!

  4. I have several books with unsatisfying ending and even though most of those books are good read, the ending just made me not like the book.

    sometimes the answers aren't there. if I encountered too many open-ended ending, then I start to wonder why I wasted to much time reading a book that gives out too many questions and not enough answers.

    I have learned a few things from your posts but I'll probably forget them after a while but I'm sure a few things stuck. thank you for sharing your expertise.

    have a lovely day.

    my last a-z is: zealous nighthawks

  5. I hear you! Those books that end things completely open, I refuse to read the next book. They make me so mad.


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