Are you ready to write real fiction? I mean, are you ready to let your characters speak with their true voices? Are your ready to let your book end when it most naturally should? And are you ready to let a subplot or two just hang there without resolution? Isn’t that the way life works?
Before you write, it’s important to realize that readers want authenticity. Life is messy. Readers understand that. Although they need some resolution by the end of the book, they don’t need your story to turn into a fairy tale.
When I first started writing, I was prone to trying to tie things up nice and neat. Yes, I was a bit of a goody-two-shoes, meaning I wanted everything to come out bright and rosy for all my characters. Oh you’ll encounter a reader or two who will be disappointed if you don’t tie your story up nice and neat, but the majority won’t mind a loose end or two.
So, here are some tips on how to end your book and keep everyone happy…
1. Your reader does not expect you to explain every situation in your story. In life, think of what is happening to your friends as subplots. The dramas in your friends’ lives do not all resolve at one time. Therefore, when writing a book, it’s okay to leave a few loose ends to the imagination.
2. Beyond giving a solution to every question in your book, you also don’t always have to have everything work out okay. It’s fine and even more authentic to let disappointment or sadness enter into your subplots. That’s how life works and your story will be more believable if you avoid having everything turn out perfectly for everyone.
3. Know when to end your story. Once you bring your main plot to a climax, your book is over. End it. Don’t hang around to explain every minute detail. Give your readers the solutions they need and trust them to come up with the rest on their own.
There’s a balance that you’ll need to reach with the ending of your book. It’s a good idea to study the endings of specific books that you love to get a feel for how they do it. By examining examples of the questions those writers answer with their endings and what they leave hanging, you’ll learn what will work for your book.