“The most-asked question when someone describes a novel, movie or short story to a friend probably is, “How does it end?” Endings carry tremendous weight with readers; if they don’t like the ending, chances are they’ll say that didn’t like the work. Failed endings are also the most common problems editors have with submitted works.” – Nancy Kress
December is a good month to think about endings with another year winding down. If we were in a novel, November would be the climax of the most horrible thing to ever happen to your character – lucky November! No wonder it tends to be a grey month. But now we are onto December when the hero gets conquer to her fears, the boy finds the girl, the quest locates the lost treasure. Hurrah!
For me, the ending is the most important part of any story.
What did I say?
What about that critical first sentence, the first paragraph, the first page you slaved for months over? There are workshops and blogs and books written about the importance of the first words of any story.
But here’s a little test. Given these two reviews, what story would you pick to read:
“The novel is slow to start but keep with it, because it gets fantastic and the ending is awesome!”
“The novel starts off great, the concept is really cool but the ending sucked.”