by Hazel Buys
First, a tip: I flew by an article by Jane Friedman that neatly categorizes publishing into 5 types. Take a look:
On another note… the other night, I was reading, as a precursor to getting drowsy and dropping off into dreamland (hopefully), I realized I was actually getting irritated because the book I was reading wouldn’t end. Did you feel that way at the end of the movie, LORD OF THE RINGS, FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING? A review of the movie I read lamented that it wouldn’t end!
I love the LOTR series and didn’t mind the stop-start rhythm of the last 15 minutes or so of the movie. But I definitely mind the stuttering end (?) of the book I am stillreading. (The names have been omitted to protect the guilty.) The mystery had been solved, the guilty sent to prison, the various odds and ends tied up and I was hoping for a satisfactory wrap-up sentence before shutting down my Kindle and going to sleep. But every time I clicked the page-forward button at the end of the chapter, instead of a teaser for the next novel (I love that some authors are doing that) or an epilogue, anotherchapter appeared!
Which prompted me to write a note to self: when you’ve tied up your plot and subplots with a neat little bow, the next two words should be “The END.” If there is more exposition, sprinkle it throughout the narrative, put it in an epilogue or leave it out (perhaps the best solution). Don’t leave your reader wishing it were over already. There is no better way to guarantee they won’t pick up your next book.