-Post by Dylan
This post is of a matter that is near and dear to my heart. Those of you who know me closely know I am coming to the end of my third novel. The only problem is, I worry about my ending. I am half of the way through my climax, and I am freaking out, especially with schoolwork piling up! However, there is one thing in particular that freaks me out, and that is how badly I delivered the ending of my last novel. I am not going to sugar-coat it. The ending was bad, rushed, and did not deliver on all the promises I built up in the manuscript. As a result, I am trying really hard to get this one right. While I am not the best at writing endings, I think from the bad experience in my last book, and the horrible experience in my first novel ( don’t even get me started on that), I have good lessons to share about what not to do when writing an ending.
The first thing not to do when writing an ending is rush the ending. I am definitely guilty as charged with this offense. The first novel I wrote I finished, but I truly gave up on it. I took what was supposed to be a minor plot point three-quarters of the way through and turned that into the climax. It was weak. My second novel, I followed all the way through on, but the ultimate battle was all of maybe twenty pages (and the book was nearly 400 pages). Again, that was very weak. Do you guys hate reading books with climaxes that flop? Yeah, me too. Something else I did in the novel that I should not have done was introducing completely new threads during the climax. This leads me into my second major don’t on endings.
Do not introduce new plot threads at the end, just so you can get the ending you desire. Honestly, if you have your desired ending in mind, you should have it mapped out. This applies even if you’re a “pantser” or “gardener." Even if you write on the fly, you should know far enough ahead what your ending is, integrate those plot threads, and foreshadow for the climax. I know I didn’t, and I regret it. Hindsight sure is 20/20. I learned from my mistakes, and I am putting them out there for all of you to see.
In my next post, I will provide you with my other two major tips on ending advice. I wish you all the best on your endings. And as a special treat I will include a link to this video which I found hilarious (especially towards the end where it talks about endings, ironic right!).
Have you ever had trouble with your endings similar to how I have? If so tell me in the comments below!