On Writing & Publishing by Robin D. Owens

Personal notes on writing techniques, writing a novel, my writing career and threading your way through publishing a book.

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Location: Denver, United States

RITA Award Winning Author -- that's like the Oscar, folks! Futuristic/Fantasy Romance and Fantasy with Romantic Subplots.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Nail Your Ending

Lately some of the stories I have read left me confused. What was the point? So, long or short, nail your endings by being very clear, and adding a satisfying emotional statement that shows and defines the arc of your character from the beginning to the end. How your character has CHANGED.

Writing a static character isn't as emotionally satisfying to the reader (or the writer). It's like, why did I bother to read this if nothing changed?

Someone (and I can't think who off the top of my head but probably Joseph Campbell), says stories can be divided into two categories. Someone new comes to town, or someone goes on a journey.

So when they do that, make sure you state it in an emotionally satisfying ending....She escaped her past, but found a new home. Her true home. The End.

For me, the ending must very clear and emotionally satisfying, otherwise I rarely read the writer again. There's a writer I absolutely loved before I seriously started writing but something about her work left me unsatisfied. It was the endings of her books. They were always rushed...ending a nicely paced story with a couple of paragraphs.

I think now that she sold a lot, and sold on proposal pages, so the front of the books were fine, but the ends weren't so good, she either lost interest in the story or had to hurry because of deadlines.

My 2 cents for the day.

May you have happy endings today.



Blogger Alessa Ellefson said...

I totally agree with you on this one. It's particularly true for stand alone books, but also for series.

Even if the book isn't the one that finishes the series, it still needs to have some kind of closure, at least on some major issues. It doesn't have to be that the character's already achieved it all, but that at least he/she has reached another plateau on his/her way to the peak.

Otherwise I'm like you: dissatisfied with the story and will not want to continue reading that author's work, whether it's an entirely different book or the sequel.

10:16 AM  
Blogger FantasyAuthor RobinDOwens said...

Thanks, Alessa. Glad to know that there are others who need to have a good ending.

12:50 PM  

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