Vlog: Elements of a Great Book Ending

You guys asked, I answered: here are some tips on writing a great book ending. And also a spiel about why they terrify me. (Spoiler: endings are hard.)

Also! The quote! I have found it:
"Your first chapter sells your book. Your last chapter sells your next book."—Mickey Spillane (from Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell, which is a fantastic writing craft book, by the way).

What tips do you have for writing a great book ending? What elements do some of your favorite endings have?

Twitter-sized bites: 
Struggling to figure out how to end your WIP? Writer @Ava_Jae vlogs some book ending tips. (Click to tweet)  
What goes into a great book ending? Writer @Ava_Jae vlogs essential elements to a powerful finale. (Click to tweet)


Alyssa said...

Actually, the quote you mentioned is at the beginning of the post about great final sentences!

Great summary of a really tricky issue! I normally have a vague sense of the ending when wading into a first draft, and I also manage to tie off most of the loose ends. I do have some trouble with character arc, so that's a great reminder. Just yesterday I finished beta-reading a ms which literally did not have an ending, so it really is a difficult issue because even though writing is really, really tiring, we just don't want to end sometimes.

Your example of the Grisha Trilogy's prologues and epilogues reminded me of ASOIAF's prologues and epilogues, in which (not really a spoiler) the PoV character always dies. Whoops!

Ava Jae said...

Yes! I actually found it that way and put it in the YouTube information. Though good point that I should probably mention it here, too. lol

At any rate, endings are definitely tricky and I totally get that "just want to finish" feeling. I often notice that my pacing goes crazy fast before the end and I suspect it's partially because of plotting but also partially because I've hit that "want to be done right now" point. Heh heh.

Also, that's kind of funny about ASOIAF's prologues and epilogues...in a morbid, but I can't say I'm surprised, way...

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