Endings are tricky. Do you leave the story open, leaving the reader's imagination to wonder what is in store for the character? Or do you tie everything together in a nice neat bow?
Or, is it a combination of both?
Last week, on Netflix, I watched the season finale of Breaking Bad. I won't spoil it here, except to say that it ends perfectly, tying up all loose ends. As we speak, I'm just an episode or two away from finishing Dexter. I'm dying--no pun intended--to see how it plays out. Some of the character development in the last season is a bit poor and far-fetched, but overall I like the series and want to know what's going to happen with our friendly neighborhood blood splatter analyst who moonlights as a serial killer.
When it comes to endings, I believe it's important to give the reader enough to satisfy them. This is where I believe a bit of planning--AKA outlining--may come into play. As we speak, I have written in my lifetime a total of six novels. In all of them, I had the ending in mind long before I even got to it. But, when I wrote closer and closer to the end, it didn't quite turn out the way I had planned. It was better.
In Shadowkill, I had an ending in mind yet didn't quite know how to get there. A lot of questions were raised prior to it. Then, like magic, they all fell into place.
I like explosive endings. I hate cop-out endings. This is why I hated Dracula. The death of Dracula was about 2 lines in the book . . . and that was it. Poof, big bad vampire is gone. Don't do that. Please. Don't write endings that suck.
How do you tackle endings? Please comment below and share.