Endings – How Important Are They?

A very interesting conversation about cliffhangers going on at Don Massenzio’s blog. I recommend checking it out. I also recommend thinking long and hard about the advisability of ending your book on a cliffhanger, but that’s just my personal opinion. Enjoy!

Author Don Massenzio

endLast week, I talked about book openings in one of my posts. This post talks about the other end of your book, the ending. It will briefly discuss the types of endings and the importance of choosing the right one for your book.

Just_Hanging_AroundLeaving the reader hanging – is it a good idea?

Many sources will tell you not to end your book with a cliffhanger. The reader needs some satisfaction or a happy ending to complete their reading experience. In my opinion, the answer to this is not quite that simple.

As someone who has written a series, I strive to make each book capable of being read as a standalone story. There is, however, a backstory arc for my main character that continues from book to book. What I like to do is resolve the current story within the book but provide a lead in to the next…

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16 thoughts on “Endings – How Important Are They?

  1. If nothing else, I’m going to write ‘The End is Nigh’ on the last few sheets of toilet roll for my family. Why only me to always change the toilet roll is a common cry in our house. Sorry…Off to read the original post now!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks for the reblog – you know I feel the same way as you do on the subject, but always interesting to see how other people view the topic.
    Oh, and once it’s written, I add the first chapter of my latest (actually the prologue in the case of my Prince’s books) to the end of the previous one. It’s just another of those many, many things on the list we authors have to keep reviewing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think adding the beginning of the next book is a great idea, Debby, and I’m going to be updating all my books soon, doing just that. (Of course, this is where I cringe and admit that personally, I never read those when I see them in books I’ve just finished. But that’s because either I’ve already decided to buy the next book, and I just go ahead and do so, or I’m not planning to read any farther because I wasn’t pulled into the story enough to entice me to continue. So, it probably wouldn’t sway me.

      Having said that, I’m sure there are readers “on the fence,” who might be saying “Hmmm. Do I want to read the next one or not?” If they haven’t decided, that first chapter might be just the thing that compels them to go ahead and buy the next book. And, if it might make a difference, it’s worth it. If it doesn’t, you were probably going to lose that reader, anyway. No harm done.

      I can see I have a lot of things to do after publishing The Emissary and before starting the next Rabbit book. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I am pretty much the same as you, but there are times when I’ve enjoyed a book so much I’m not ready to finish reading, and that next chapter makes me buy the new book immediately, rather than meaning to do it later, and possibly forgetting for a while.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’m afraid I’m not very good at the “I’ll do it later thing,” if it concerns something I WANT. Like a book. I’ll hit that button, before I finish reading ‘The End,’ even at midnight! Of course, if it’s a CHORE, well then doing it later is plenty good enough for me!! hahahaha

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