You’ve struggled through the character development, the conflict and, well, telling a fantastic story. But if your ending fizzles it won’t matter. Readers will be left with a sense of dissatisfaction. So, although I’m thrilled that I have actually made it to the end of my novel, I’m not convinced that it’s the powerful ending needed just yet.
Winds of L’Acadie and The Journal both had plot twists that worked really well. In my current novel, I don’t think a plot twist is what is needed. I’m not looking for the big surprise moment. There’s nothing worse than a contrived, forced ending. I want the ending to follow naturally from Lily’s personal growth and her newfound ability to make significant decisions and to take control of her life. She’s no longer the coddled, dependent girl whose mother micromanaged every aspect of her life. I also want to show Lily’s new-found confidence that she does have the skills to navigate the teen years without her mother.
In my WIP, the powerful ending is an emotional one more than action-packed fireworks. The ending needs to fit the story that leads up to it. Of course, it is a teen novel, so, there is a boy!
Some questions to ask:
1.How does the protagonist show she has changed?
2. So what? If the beginning starts with asking “What if?” the ending answers “so what?” Why is the story important? What is it that you want to communicate to the reader? Why did you want to tell this particular story?
3. Have I made the ending memorable? Great endings leave the reader still thinking about your novel, hours or days or months later. Great endings cause readers to run to the web searching for other books you have written.
Happy ending or not, make it worth the read!