Sorry its been a while since I last published a post. I’ve been very busty with writing projects of all types, plus learning a new instrument and balancing things on my forehead.
A while ago I published a post called “The Very Important Must-Read Discussion on First Lines.” This post explained how to write a hooking first line that grabs readers browsing over your book.
Now we are going to be talking about ending lines and what they must include.
Ending lines must have the following attributes:
- It must end with character.
- It must end with tone.
- It must at least slightly sum up the events, and/or
- It must sum up theme, and/or
- It must give a sense of continuation of character’s lives.
As you see, ending lines are both similar to first lines, but have a lot of possible variation to them. The only exception of these qualifications are cliffhanger endings, such as ones in The Maze Runner, The Sky Riders, and others.
Here are a few examples of good ending lines and why.
But now, I am also learning this: We can be mended. We mend each other.
from Allegiant by Veronica Roth
OK, so this technically is two lines, but they are connected enough we’ll consider them one. This ending line includes character (I), includes tone, and theme. It also creates the continuation of our character’s life (I am also learning this). Altogether, it is a good clincher.
And strangest of all is it to hold my wife’s hand again, and to think that I have counted her, and that she has counted me, among the dead.
from War of the Worlds by H. G Wells
This last line includes character, tone, and slightly sums up events with the thinking of each other dead. It also gives a continuation of their lives (their ongoing relationship).
I hope this brief discussion on last lines will aid you in your endeavors to end your novel!