Writing Tip Wednesday: EXPLOSIVE ENDINGS

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It’s been a few weeks since I posted writing tips so just as a reminder, I’ve been talking about my sure-fire way to publication: best beginnings + marvelous middles + explosive endings = PUBLICATION! We’ve gone over the first two and today we tackle explosive endings.

One of the keys to creating an explosive ending is to resolve all the story plots, not only the major one. Readers have invested time and emotion in your story. Don’t cheat them by not giving them the resolution they want. It’s not fair to leave them hanging and wondering.  If it’s a series, it’s fine to give a hint to an upcoming story but it’s still important to finish the current story.

For example in my Sisters By Choice series, in BETRAYED there was a main character whose son was kidnapped by his father but it had nothing to do with the story plot. It was simply a fact of the character’s life. But at the end of the story readers just know that Jamie can’t resist helping her new friend.  And that becomes the basis for my about to be released book, REDEMPTION.

In a Christian romantic suspense, there are usually three main areas that need an ending along with any subplots. First we have the suspense plot, then the romantic thread, and finally the spiritual arc.

A famous quote from Mickey Spillane says it all. The first chapter sells the book. The last chapter sells the next book.

Your ending will either give you a satisfied reader who will want to buy your next book and recommend it to others or one who won’t read another book you write—ever. The choice is yours.

Many books actually have two endings—mine usually do. Often the crucial resolution scene (stopping the murderer—rescuing the damsel in distress) happens in the next to the last chapter and the final chapter is used to tie up all the other story lines in a happy little bow. Nothing wrong with that. It’s a good plan.



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