Friday, January 10, 2020

Writing: Pay Attention To The Ending

I'm editing (for what I hope is the last time) my next novel, Critical Decision. As I went over (and over and over) it before sending it to the printer, I decided that there are a couple of things that should be carefully gone over by the writer: the opening and the closing.

The importance of the opening is obviously important. It's been said that this is the spot where you "hook" your reader and encourage them to keep on reading. Thus, the need for polishing that part of the book is evident. People spend literally months getting the opening just right, and I see why that's true. But the closing should also get the author's attention.

If the opening is what makes the reader turn the page and keep on turning, the closing scene(s) are what they take away when they're through with the book. Another way to put it is that you sell this book with the opening, but with the closing you sell the next one. Which is important to me? They both are--but I certainly spent more time on the closing of this one than I did on the opening.

What's your opinion? I'd like to know.


Priscilla Bettis said...

The opening is more important to me as a reader. It's what hooked me. As long as the closing is not an easy way out ("it was all a dream") or totally depressing (darkness reigns), then I'm okay with whatever the author creates.

Richard Mabry said...

Priscilla, I agree that the opening is "the hook" that engages the reader. But I found, as I edited, that the ending is important, as well. Hope you like both of them in my new novel. Thanks for commenting.