A Truly Great Ending

Writing “The end” is so satisfying for a writer. However, the pity of it is that it’s just the start of the rewriting, revising, editing and polishing. Crafting an ending which is as Susan Wiggs describes is not easy for the writer. But what a way to go! That really is the kind of ending which sells your next book.

When the reader gets to this page, we hope that they feel ready to read it again. That really is the kind of ending which not only sells this book when readers talk about how great it is to their friends, it also sells your next book. Well worth the effort.

Light an unexpected match

What sparks your passion? Your readers often have the same passion and setting light to it keeps them satisfied and coming back to buy your books.

Decide what it is you want to evoke from your reader. Then fire your own feelings up, surprise yourself. Make yourself love, sing, dance, laugh, cry, grieve, gasp, shudder and scream. Make your heart race. Give yourself goosebumps. Make yourself so angry you want to punch something. Live your story. Feel every emotion as if you are each one of your characters.

Why? Because the odds are high that if you don’t feel those emotions, your readers won’t either. Find that unexpected match that triggers those emotions in yourself and odds are you will trigger them in your reader too.


Plotting is fun. Play with your characters (and your readers), plotting dastardly things to do to them, have them do and say. I love doing a brainstorming session with writer or reader friends. Don’t discount anything at first. The more outrageous the better. Let them percolate for a while and see what the girls in the basement come up with.

Make a list, as long as possible. Cliches and hackneyed ideas are easy to come up with. The more original and freshest ideas come further down on the list.

Take your time over it. Preferably, plot your next book(s) while you are writing, editing or resting an earlier one.

Write like you’re in love

Don’t you just love this advice? Having problems with your writing? Do whatever it takes to fall back in love with your story. Put your heart and soul into it. There’s nothing like it.

That’s why it’s so hard to cut into the story you love so much. It truly is like killing your darlings as William Faulkner advised. Editing requires a different mindset. Rather than your heart, your head and your intellect must be in charge.

To show or to tell

There is a time for showing and a time for telling in writing. This is the best explanation for the effect on the reader of each of these methods of conveying information to your reader.

Consider what effect you wish to create in your reader when making the decision whether you ought to show or tell.