Inside the mind of a fantasy writer

Amazing ending lines: DO YOU HAVE ONE?!

Have you ever had that moment where you look at something you wrote and go, “Wow!  This is amazing!”?

I love that warm fuzzy, full of myself feeling when I read something I wrote that I think is so good I can’t believe I even wrote it.  It’s that, “I am totally AWESOME!!”, feeling.  Sometimes I’ll sit and stare at it, wondering how the hell something this amazingly gorgeous came from me.  Come on…admit it.  You’ve had that feeling before too 😉

I was editing Christian’s Kisses yesterday and I had one of those moments. I absolutely LOVE the last two paragraphs of that book, especially the last line.  Anyone who is reading the book with my chapter a day thing on here will have to tell me what they think when the read it.  I think it might be the best ending line I have ever written.  It’s so beautiful. (gush gush)  I love it.  It’s so sweet it makes you want to cry but at the same time smile with a smile so big your face can’t contort to form it.

So I guess here’s the part in the post where I will attempt to give some advice to other writers.  Here goes…

End each chapter with a great line.

You can’t just stop at any random place!  It’s against the rules!  It is imperative to have that great last line, one that can stand on it’s own beautifully.  This is especially true when writing your ending.

The last paragraph of a book, in my opinion, should be the most powerful group of sentences or sentence in the entire book.  It’s the last and most memorable thing your reader will read so make it great!  Make it super awesome! (using that word so much really shows what generation I come from lol)

That paragraph should either end all the main conflicts in the story or leave your reader with the kind of emotion/theme you want your book to convey to your readers. In other words, stay true to following the overall tone/theme of your book.  If it’s a love story, end with the lovers being together.  If it’s a death scene or dark, sad toned book, make your readers cry.

If your book’s a hard core sappy romance novel don’t end the book with a death scene.  It’s mean.  I don’t like it and your readers might be a little angry with you.  Same with a murder mystery book.  Don’t end with two people making out or with some cheesy love line.  “My love for you is as endless as the sky. Muah. Muah. Muah.”  No!  It doesn’t fit.  Don’t do something like that.

Here’s an example of wrapping up all the conflicts in the book in a neat little paragragh.  This is the last paragraph from my book, Nero the Hero;

 Taking out his Pendant again, Nero frowned slightly, thinking about everything that had just happened.  Now realizing that this newly achieved tranquility had been worth all the pain he had been put through, Nero found the strength to smile again.  Everything seemed to be so happy now, the courtyards that were once stained with blood were now filled with the sound of laughter and the warmth of love again.  When he looked back at it all, the only traces that had been left by the Black King were a legacy of terror and greed and the great story left to be told of a legendary hero and his battle with an evil King along with a large headstone that read; Reinhold Minosphere, Black Guardian VI, beloved husband and devoted father.

This leaves the reader with closure yet it isn’t a happy ending that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy.  It sums up the overall plot and tone of the book (which was going on after death/tragedy) in one paragraph.  Even if it didn’t have a happy ending for all the characters, it does leave the reader with that finished, much needed breath at the end of the book (it’s about 120k WC so they probably love getting that breath.  And did I tell you Nero is the best character I’ve created?  Okay, okay, I’ll get out of the parentheses now and get back to the post ;)).

Here’s an example of a happy ending where the main character wins and the last paragraph ties all that happiness all up in a neat little line.  Let’s see, maybe I’ll use the last line from Carter’s Curse as an example;

Carter had finally gotten everything he wanted and there was no souvenir in the world that could make him happier than he was at that moment.

I would use the line from Christian’s Kisses but I have people who don’t need the ending spoiled so….I will not use it (sigh), although it is very beautiful.  Ah…

So now it’s share time.  What is the best ending line you’ve ever written?  And why do you think it is the best?

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8 responses

  1. how about ending a story with “once upon a time”
    i like to end stories with the same line i opened with sometimes

    April 18, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    • I love it when you put that funny little last line in your poems/writing. Very good example of the power of the last line and how it leaves the biggest impression. And using ‘once upon a time’ can work if you use it correctly, which I’m sure you can 😉

      April 18, 2012 at 4:20 pm

  2. It was all down to this. After 3,160 miles of running, from Pacific Grove, California to this narrow strip of sand in Rehobeth Beach, Delaware, it was about to be over. The strain and pain of all those miles began to lift. The worry and fear of something horrible happening was ebbing away. I reached for the hand of the woman who had been with me every step of the way and felt her sure grip. Together we floated across the last few feet and plunged into the Atlantic Ocean. My tears mingled with the salt water, I had never felt so good.

    Be encouraged!

    April 18, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    • I love the last two sentences! Very nice!

      April 18, 2012 at 4:18 pm

  3. there’s a book by jerry spinelli called “crash,” about a brutish bully of a boy who teases a new kid in school from grade 1 through 8. after all the crap the bully does to him, i cry at the last line in which the bully says how now he and the boy he teased are best friends.

    April 19, 2012 at 12:00 am

    • Great example. Thanks Rich.

      April 19, 2012 at 5:19 am

  4. There is only one thing worse than a bad ending to a book, and thats the one that just stops. you know the ones I mean you have invested a few hundred pages getting into the story and the characters and then it just ends. I read one a few weeks ago which i shall not name where I just sat there at the end going what? But? Why? It annoyed me such much that even should a sequel appear I would refuse to read it on principle. I know if your going to write a sequel that sometimes its good to leave a couple of things hanging but the reader should never be left feeling cheated. As for my own ending lines I haven’t got there yet but will share when I do.

    April 19, 2012 at 2:29 am

    • I totally agree. There’s that fine line of leaving enough out to make way for a sequel and leaving too much out and leaving the reader feeling cheated. And I can’t wait to see your ending line. I bet it will be awesome 😉

      April 19, 2012 at 2:30 pm

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