Powerful Endings

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This is part of a series, 30 Days to A Stronger Novel
Please–suggest your own quick tip for a stronger novel.

You’ve written a wonderful novel. The reader has stayed up late to finish it and they turn the page for the climax scene and read, “The next morning, after it was all over, Jeremiah mulled over his feelings.”

What? You didn’t write the climax?

It happens. A writer gets to the climax, to the scene of great emotional power and somehow the emotions that s/he must face to write that scene seem too overpowering. They skip the scene and go directly to the aftermath.

No! Write the climax!

Some tips for revising the climax of your novel:

  1. Consider setting. What settings have the most emotional power in your story? Can you set the climax there? One common element is to put the climax in a high place, like a bridge, top of a skyscraper, etc., symbolizing that this is the high point of the story and the scene with the most emotional danger. Is there a place like that anywhere in your story’s world?
  2. Consider length. The climax should be the most emotionally powerful scene and partly that means it should be one of the longest scenes in the novel. It should be extended with twists, surprises, or the mini-climaxes of sub-plots. Length doesn’t necessarily equal emotional power, but done right, it can add to the suspense, tension, and emotions.
  3. Consider the final confrontation. The climax should be the final confrontation between the antagonist and protagonist. Seems obvious, but it’s so easy to slip up and make it between that protagonist and another minor character.
  4. Consider the romantic subplot. If you have a romantic subplot, it is the only subplot that is typically resolved after the main conflict. After all the problems are taken care of, then the boy/man can get his girl/woman (or the girl/woman can get her boy/man).
  5. The reader has stayed up for hours while you finished your tale. Don’t disappoint.

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1 Comment
  • darkocean
    November 6, 2014

    I read a book on wattpad where the author instead that what she wrote was the ending. So the three povs sitting in an abandoned apartment is an ending WTH? I wasn’t happy to say the least, felt cheated expecually with all the questions that went unanswered. Strangely enough I haven’t gone back to that book. So yes a killer ending is a mus, that’s what readers are trying to get to the awesome ending! Lucky the ending popped into my head the other day I want it to be satisfying. now if I could just get chapter 25 to be finished. XD

    I love this blog keep up the good work :)