Everyone loves a happy ending. At the end of a novel we want to read the equivalent of “And they lived happily ever after.” But is that realistic? Do we even want “realistic”? Maybe that happy ending is too predictable.
After months of agonizing over writer’s block, I have at last reached the end of the first draft of my next novel.
In writing the ending, I was conscious of trying to follow the storyline in a logical manner, and still craft an ending that the reader will find as satisfying as a perfect dessert after a tasty meal at a five-star restaurant.
How can the author prepare such a gourmet dessert?
1. The events that wrap up the plot must be believable.
2. These events must follow in a logical sequence, while keeping the reader wondering if they will indeed happen.
3. The characters involved should have their character flaws redeemed and resolved by this time.
4. Our hero should be successful in his endeavours.
5. The villain should finally get what’s coming to him.
These steps would allow for a happy ending.
Of course, in real life, happy endings can often have twists. But do we want those twists to happen in a novel?
What do you think? Do you want that dessert to be perfect, or do you want some degree of reality weighing in?
Reality comes in many varieties. The dessert might be too sweet, too bland, too rich, or too ordinary. There might be a fly in it, or worse yet, a hair.
Think about some endings you have read. How do they make you feel? What kind of endings do you like?