Monday, September 19, 2011

The Resolution

Writing the end of the book is the absolutely hardest part for me. I adore beginnings. Beginning lines pop into my head and they very rarely change because they're usually perfect (the only part of the book that ever is for me). I love the setup. The sweet romance of when my hero and heroine and I are really getting to know each other.

I don't mind the middle either. It's fun and games or drama and angst, but lots of stuff is happening.

What's teeth-pulling-agony are those last fifty pages or so, where everything that's come before must result in a payoff.

Last semester I took a class in creative fiction writing. We're talking academic, literary crowd here. The instructor claimed that the beginning was the most important part of the story and the ending didn't even really matter.

My jaw dropped. Seriously? I couldn't wrap my head around that assertion. If the ending doesn't matter then what the heck was the point of the beginning? The ending reflects the changes of everything that's gone on during the course of the book. To blow off the ending, in my opinion, negates the entire story. But then I come from the world of happily ever after. The hero and heroine must get together in the end. But in order to have an effective believeable ending, it's got to be carefully orchestrated. I might not always be successful at writing the best endings, but I darn well give it everything I've got.

What about you? As a reader, what's your favorite part of a book? Beginning, middle or end? It's okay if you agree with my instructor. Hey, I'm great at beginnings.


  1. Oh, I totally disagree with that. I have to have satisfaction when I close that book. I have to have that "ahhhhh" moment. And with romance especially, if I don't have that fuzzy Awwww moment where I close the book and get that dopey smile and get that feeling of utter contentment and happiness and feel that this couple are totally perfect and have found "the one", I have a hard time investing in the author's future work. It's totally not about the beginning for me. A good beginning is a great hook and it gives you a hint of promise of all the goodies to come (along with author's voice, style, sense of humor, etc). But yeah... ending falls apart? I'm not interested in future books.


  2. Julie,
    I agree with you. I have to have resolution.

  3. Moving away from the romance genre... Fiction is the same way for me. I don't like loose ends. I don't like unresolved conflicts. I don't like unanswered questions. Series have those sometimes, but if you don't answer the main problem/solve the conflict that I've been following and reading about for 300+ pages, I'm not going to be a happy camper. I had a book like that that I stuck with til the end, hit that last page, realized the author was *forcing* me to read the next book to find out what happened and that was it. I was done. Tossed the book (the 2nd in the series) and haven't bothered to read 3 or 4. It's an unfulfilled promise to the reader. Break that and why should I read you again? I just don't get that logic. A story is beginning, middle, AND end. I need an End that holds up! LOL! :)


  4. Well I totally disagree about the ending of story doesn't really matter. I need a good conclusion to a story. But I love the middle of a story. That is the meat of the story where anything and everything can happen to the characters. It is all the twist and turns that I love and it gives me a chance to figure out the whodunit and what I think is going to happen at the end for the H/h. The ending has to tie all those loose ends and resolve things for me to get satisfaction of a well written story.

  5. Hi Lori,
    I labor and love it all. I often find the end hard to nail down, because I write romantic suspense. Have to tie up all those loose ends. But, for me, it's all about the love. And that's what the end means to me. After all the hardships, disappointments and black moments, finally they get their happy ending.

    Geri Foster

  6. As a reader, I want the begenning of the book to wow me, even just a little bit. It gets me hooked on the story.. and if the middle crashes, well there is just no way I am going to read this until the end... But it still has to have a great ending... I like something that is not predictable..
    So I guess I am a begenning to the end kind of reader..