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How to End Your Novel
By Laura College
Have you ever read a book with an unsatisfying ending?
Annoying, isnt it? Youve just read this
exciting, emotionally draining and captivating novel,
then arrived at the end only to be left hanging on the
edge of a precipice. What happened to the characters?
Were all of the problems resolved? The ending to a novel
is almost as important as the beginning.
to End Your Novel with Dialogue
Some of the most wonderful novels have ended with
dialogue. The main character says something witty or
funny, and you close the book feeling like all has ended
well. Dialogue can be a powerful way to end your novel as
long as you do it creatively.
The best type of dialogue with which to end a novel is
closure; the last phrase gives both the reader and the
characters a sense of finality, which signals that the
story is over. Youll see this done fairly often in
movies, and it can be just as attractive at the end of a
Just make sure, if you end your novel with dialogue, that
you havent left any questions unanswered, and that
the previous prose brought the story to a close.
Personally, ending a novel with a question seems cheap,
as though you are cheating the reader.
to End Your Novel with Prose
This is the most popular way to end a novel because it
allows the author to say everything that needs to be
said. For example, you can end your novel with an
Epilogue that explains what happened after the final
scene in your novel. It can project days, months or years
in the future, which is especially helpful in a romance
If, however, your novel does not require an epilogue, you
can simply bring it to a close in the present. The
characters have solved the mystery or thwarted the great
evil, which means that there isnt anything left to
say. Its better to end your novel with a bang than
to drone on with meaningless and senseless words that
only serve to leave your reader with a bad taste in his
or her mouth.
to End Your Novel with a Cliffhanger
There is only one instance in which this is acceptable,
and that is when you have planned a sequel to your novel.
Often, trilogies will end the first two novels with a
cliffhanger, which ensures that your readers will
purchase the next installment.
You have to be careful not to anger your readers,
however, because if they are frustrated at the end of the
novel, theyll simply give up on you as a writer. My
best advice is to tie up all of the loose ends
save one and leave the reader wanting more. A
novel even one with a sequel that
doesnt answer any of the readers questions
will be frustrating, and you might lose their interest.
Laura J. College is a professional ghostwriter with more
than ten years' experience writing fiction and
non-fiction manuscripts. Her work can be found all over
the Internet, and she is currently accepting ghostwriting
clients. Check out her website at http://www.laurajcollege.com
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