The Quandary of Your Book’s Ending

If you know me, you know that ending a book is . . . well, not easy. For me, anyway. I didn’t have a problem with the ending for the first draft of Fate of a Prince, but Promised Land? One Light Shining (unpublished)? Oh yeah.

The reason the ending of Fate was easy to figure out is because I knew right from the start what the climax would look like, and the climax came at the end. The whole book built up to that point. But when I was writing Promised Land, I kept working and reworking the last several chapters. (I didn’t outline that book nearly as well as I outlined Fate.)

If you struggle with writing endings as well, here are a few tidbits I’ve learned from the trenches of writing endings. πŸ˜‰

  1. Outline, outline, outline.
    I’m a major planner – never more so than when I started Fate of a Prince. Even WITH all that outlining, I still struggled with some of the chapters that led up to the climax. But without the outlining . . . yeah, that wouldn’t have been pretty.
  2. Experiment!
    Try different things. You’re only writing the first draft. Write five different endings. See how they work. Get ideas from other people. You could write as many different endings as you want to try them out, but ultimately, you only get one shot. (After the first draft, major things like the ending are hard to change – mentally, anyway.)
  3. Bounce ideas off of others.
    Whether you’ve written one ending, ten, or you’re just outlining the ending, bounce it off of some trusted friends. They may have some ideas you never even thought of!
  4. Pinterest?
    Do you use Pinterest for storyboarding? Use it to garner inspiration! It can help.
  5. Watch The Man Who Invented Christmas.
    Not even joking. It will make you feel better about writers’ block. πŸ˜‚

Let me know how YOU work out endings for your book. Do they come naturally or do you spend hours staring at a blank screen? #thestruggleisreal

Let’s chat!

Published by Hannah Gaudette

Hannah Gaudette is a home-school graduate living in the hills of New England. When she’s not writing or playing with the dogs, it’s a safe bet you can find her with some other animal, like goats. She is the founder of a sustainable agriculture movement called STEWARDSHIP in central Maine. She's a life-enthusiast and advocate for food allergy awareness, youth ministry, and service dogs.

4 thoughts on “The Quandary of Your Book’s Ending

  1. Great advice! And I absolutely love The Man Who Invented Christmas, it’s such a funny but accurate representation of a writer’s life.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Hannah! I totally relate! Usually, I have an idea on how I want a story to end. Just actually getting there and making it impactful… *stares at screen* *ends up summarizing the end* *heelp!* XD Yeah, the struggle is definitely real.

    I do love your tips! I’ll be sure to try it sometime (I never thought of using Pinterest!) I like planning my stories too (although I think I’m more of planster?)

    Ooo, I’ve heard of the Man Who Invented Christmas (just hadn’t had a chance to watch it. Yeah, I’m a day late and a dollar short XD)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know! That “staring at the screen” stage is torture. πŸ˜‚ You have to watch The Man Who Invented Christmas. It’s a must-see for writers . . . or readers . . . or just people who love Christmas. 😊

      Like

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