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Last lines

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger on Jul 17, 2017 5:19:13 AM


John Irving is famous for writing the last line of his books first. When you think about it, it's not a bad strategy. He's knows where the story is going before he even begins. He just has to figure out how to get there, he doesn't have to figure out where to go. I would think that would make for a much more "efficient" writing experience, and it gives him a leg up on the most elusive element of a novel, a satisfying ending.


How an ending is deemed satisfying depends on a lot of things. What genre is your book? If it's a mystery, ending the book without solving the mystery is going to leave your readers angry and unsatisfied. Is it a romance novel? Your main character should be enriched and empowered at the end of your story otherwise the readers are going to feel robbed of the essence of romance. With thrillers you have room to taunt and tease your readers a little at the end, but you still want a definitive conclusion to the story.  If the book is part of a series, you'll want an ending the signals there is more to come.


We've discussed the importance of first lines on this blog. While the first sentence sets the tone of your book, the last line provides the final payoff, the reward for the reader's investment of time and emotions. You write an ending that satisfies the reader, and you have a new member of your community who will enthusiastically tell their friends, family, and followers about your book.


-Richard

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Richard Ridley is an award winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.


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