Update: Finishing My Novel

I’m dangerously close to being finished with my novel. My inclination is to hurry up and be done with it, so I can move on to other projects. I’ve been working on this novel seemingly forever. But the end of a novel will make or beak the entire story. Therefore I must be careful.

One friend said, “If I don’t like the ending, I don’t like the book.”

A memorable ending can be good or bad, but that is what people will talk about. It doesn’t matter how good or bad a story was. The ending can over shadow it.

When the book and movie Sphere, by Michael Crichton, came out, few talked about how engaging the beginning was or how captivating the plot was.

It was the ending that most talked about. They said, “It was too easy.”

The entire rest of the story was lost.

Too bad. It was a good read, but the story was lost because the ending was too easy. After an intriguing beginning, readers expected an intriguing ending, and when it’s not there, readers lose interest in the whole book.

The excitement over a good ending will spill over into the rest of the story so that the reader will recommend the novel to a friend.

When I read Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card, I was told, “You won’t see the ending coming.”  “The ending is totally unexpected.”

Such comments encouraged me to read Ender’s Game, which lead to my reading the rest of the series.

Too many times, I’ve read a good book only to be disappointed in it’s conclusion. It’s almost as if the author was either tired of the book and gave up, or the author had sent all their energy on writing the novel and ran out of energy when the end was in sight.

So as I tackle the ending of my novel, I must take a breath and settle the excitement of finishing. I don’t want to rush just to get through it. I want to write an ending that is satisfying to the story and reader so my novel will be thought worthy to be recommended to others.

Do you have a favorite ending or a memorable bad ending?