If I had to summarize the ending of a book, I will say that the end usually refers to the truth, because it’s not usually until the end of a book that readers are given all of the truth.
For the past three days, I’ve tried hard to finish my new manuscript only to realize it won’t happen in 30 days of writing. I definitely can write a book in 30 days and have done it more than once. When I thought of doing this project, I had in mind to write a new thriller-suspense book. Thriller-Suspense has a much faster pace and the depth of milieu is usually limited, because the focus of the story is more on action, adventure and love. But when I actually got down to doing this project, I chose to write historical fiction. Historical usually takes longer to write, because these kinds of books, except the historical romance genre, have far more pages than your standard fiction book. The reason for this is time is needed to provide readers with an accurate depiction of the era the book is written in, so there’s far more details given to clothing, milieu, dialogue, etc.
I’m close to the end, however. Over these past days I wasn’t quick to post the final day in this project thread, because I wanted to give something notable. Something you can use to help you during your journey of writing a new book. It wasn’t until late last night around one a.m. when I realized what I should talk about. And that subject is ‘the truth.’
And the end of a story, readers believe the list below to be true:
1. The bad guy should get what he deserves. What the bad guy deserves may not be death, but an appropriate punishment should be given for all the bad things this bad guy has done. So at the end of a book, it’s the same as a victim sitting in court waiting for their attacker to be sentenced for their crimes, and the sentence should be one they can live with.
2. All mentions of things that weren’t answered during the book should be answered somewhere in the final pages. Readers don’t like when a book ends and those few questions they wanted answered, those few questions that kept them reading aren’t answered and leaves them filling empty inside. By the end of a book, all loose ends in the plot should be tied together to give the reader closure.
3. The main characters of the story have found their true selves.
4. And last but not least, the hidden message inside the plot should be clear and point only at something that’s true.
Did you know that all books have hidden messages, including fiction? There is truth in fiction, such as crime doesn’t pay, and when it does it usually has a high price attached to it. Take Tony Montana from the movie Scarface for example. Throughout this movie, viewers see something they wish for themselves: success. But the price of success caused Tony Montana his life in the end. Although many viewers probably didn’t want Tony to die, the truth is viewers were okay with it because the message of the story was clear. When you take risks like Tony did and live the kind of life he led, the risks he took also included putting his own life in danger. In books, you can sometimes find more than one message. Keeping with Scarface, another message a viewer could have gotten from the movie other than crime doesn't pay is ‘this can happen to me.’
Here are more truths an author faces at the completion of a manuscript:
1. They will have to go over the manuscript again and again to make it the best the story can be.
2. Writing a story is rewarding and gives authors feelings of excitement, a sense of struggle to make the plot superb or getting a sentence or chapter or scene just right, feelings of anticipation, sometimes doubt if we’re on the right track, and so many more emotions that will take too long to write them all down. But at the end of a story, you can’t deny the feeling of wanting to open a bottle of champagne and telling everyone you know, ‘Hey, I just wrote a fascinating, good book!’
3. You become more confident that you are and were born an author and someone that can tell a story like no one else can.
All book endings aren’t ‘happy ever-afters.’ But they are hidden truths revealed to the readers so readers can feel fulfilled.
I hope you enjoyed this blog project and I also hoped you got plenty out of it. If you did enjoy it be sure to subscribe to my newsletter on the Newsletter tab. Again, if you think you need that extra push to finish your manuscript, why not try checking out my writing guide, Anyone Can Write. Also stay on the lookout for my online writing courses where I can one subject and break it down for full comprehension so you will know how to incorporate the best writing techniques into your daily process.
This has been fun, and although this project has ended I will continue to post writing tips here and in the Readers-Writers Forum. Until next time, keep writing! You can do it. I know you can.