I’ve finished the third draft of Plaster Scene, my new novel, and sent it off to the proofreader for polishing. It’s very close now. I’m still waiting to finalise the cover but I’m sure it’ll be ready when it needs to be.
The one problem I have is how to end the bloody thing. There are so many ways to end a story, below are just a few:
- On a cliffhanger (a la The Italian Job)
- Do it to death – Just drag it out for chapter after chapter wrapping up every single storyline, and some.
- Right at the end of the action – It just wraps up and then you leave it, but does this leave the reader slightly unfulfilled?
- A final chapter focussing on one of the characters – Concentrate on one storyline and take it just a bit further.
- A lead on scene – set yourself up for a possible second in the series by ending at a possible beginning of another story. (The franchise model)
- An Epilogue – What the characters are up to at some time in the future
- The bullet point round-up – Discuss each character in turn and show what happens to them
At the moment I’m stumped. No story naturally ends. The story ends when the story ends but the book doesn’t end there. Your characters become real people so ultimately their lives go on and on, how much do you show a reader?
I like all of the above approaches for different reasons but some feel a little bit like a cop out and some are clearly self-indulgent. It probably depends on genre etc, and that’s the way I’ll probably go but I’m curious as to how you other beautiful writers go about deciding how to finally put your pen down.
Let me know because it may well help others too… thank you.