Wednesday, March 13, 2013


There is something bitter sweet about ending a story or a novel. You have slaved over these characters. They are your babies. They spoke to you and tortured you in the middle of the night, and now you're done with them. Even if you are writing as series, it's bitter sweet. Yes, you'll work with them again, but they won't be the same. The journey they took through the book changed them. As a reader the ending should be what brings everything to a satisfying close. Happy Ever After or not.

I hate writing endings because for me my heart is torn out at the climax and my tears are exhausted and...then we have the down part. The part where everything should wrap up to some extent. How do you do this without shoving information down your reader's throat? How do you make it stay within that realm of believability?  To me, life doesn't always wrap up in a nice little package, so I don't always have my books do that. That being said, endings at least need to be satisfying. Endings to book with a cliff hanger better have another book in the series, or a story. If you leave your reader wanting for more, good, but don't piss them off or they are likely not to buy the next book.

I'm sure well all remember this from Lit class.
My suggestion on how to avoid the information dump is, see how much of it you can weave through out the story and give you readers the benefit of the doubt. Drop them hints so that towards the end things can be wrapped up with a couple sentences or so. It's tricky I know. You can also put it in with the climax, is your characters sneaking around? Add tension as they hear the information they need and the reader needs, but have them almost get caught, have them get lost, throw in something like they picked up a paper. I love little details that bring things together in the end as a reader.

Recently I attended a panel on things like this. Agatha Christy was a master at details like that. The example used was a character went in to get a jacket that was supposed to be upstairs, instead it was on the couch. As she went to retrieve it she saw a flash of someone going up the stairs. She ran after him, only to find that he escaped through the window. Later on it was the jacket that came into play, not the mysterious person jumping out the window.

Though sometimes the information being revealed gives your reader a chance to breath. If you just dragged them through an emotional roller coaster you need to give them a chance to come down. In the pun what feels right for the characters. This is where Beta readers come in. They can tell you what they felt about the ending. If they feel that it was rushed (One of my biggest problems) or if they felt it was too slow, or whatever they find as a reader.

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