Welcome to my stop on the Heway Hall Blog Tour sponsored by These Paper Worlds Tours. Today we are featuring a guest post from Sue Roebuck. You can check out the other stops on the tour here.
Release Date: April 18, 2012
Publisher: Etopia Press
Purchase: Barnes and Noble | Amazon
An unsung hero's destiny--Slater's house of horrors. Fire-fighter Jude Elliott loses part of his leg trying to rescue a family held hostage during a terrorist attack. He journeys to mysterious Hewhey Hall, where it is told there are wondrous, magical cures. Little does Jude know that his destination is Slater The Prince of Envy's lair where demons reside and courageous souls are tormented... Can Jude escape Slater's house of horrors, or will he suffer for all of eternity?
by Sue Roebuck
As a reader, what type of endings do you like best? Happy ones that leave you feeling warm inside? Sad and teary ones? Cliff-hangers that make you grab your credit card for the next book in the series?
In my opinion, the ending has to fit the book and shouldn’t be a huge surprise – or disappointment. And the, “oh, it was all a dream” is, of course, the all-time no-no.
As a writer, how do you prefer to end your stories? If you’re a romance writer you probably have to have happy ever after scenarios. There are other techniques which I refer to below but although I’m still a “newbie”at the writing lark - despite having two published novels - I’ve found that what has worked in my stories has come from instinct rather than from being aware that I’m using some kind of literary device. I didn’t consciously set out to end both my novels (Perfect Score andHewhay Hall) with “yeah, I can relate to that” or, more technically, satisfying endings. But that’s how they both panned out.
For those who are more organized than I am, let’s take a look at some ending-stories possibilities:
·Doing the Twist
Often used in short stories when “red herrings” (clues that mislead the reader) are planted along the way so that the ending is a plausible surprise. It’s quite a neat technique because it makes people go back and re-evaluate the characters. Think Luke Skywalker when he discovers his father’s Darth Vader – you weren’t expecting that, were you?
This annoys the hell out of a reader as much as having to read an implausible plot. Take a look at the Wikipedia entry for the book In the Lake of the Woods by Tim O’Brien to see an example of a successful book with this type of ending. Generally, though, instead of forcing the reader to decide what happened, authors use this technique as a way of getting their readers to buy the next book in a series.
Cliffhangers are similar but are mostly used to end chapters to leave the reader panting for more. Some inexperienced writers (ahem) might overdo them in which case they end up with a bad case of melodrama. Pity, really, because they are fun to do.
This is the ending that comes full circle back to the scenario at the start of the story: the ending mirrors the beginning (the setting is the same but the characters have changed; the characters are the same but the setting has changed; or everything’s exactly the same for some reason). Circular endings are often associated with the “quest” plot – the main character seeks something, goes through hell to achieve it, finds it and goes home a changed – but satisfied – character.
·Endings give closure
The end is where the writer ties up all loose ends. Here’s a great list of best last lines of novels. One of my favorite last lines is #3 on that list from The Great Gatsby by Scott Fitzgerald: “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past”.
Sometimes it’s hard to find the conclusion. When I’m writing I’m often so engaged with my characters that I want them to last forever, but I never forget: All good things have to come to an end.
I've taught at various colleges and institutions in Portugal and my interest in dyslexia started with a discussion over lunch with a colleague.
Nowadays I'm mostly occupied with writing.
I've traveled widely through The States and believe that "being born American is like winning the lottery of life" :)