Tag Archive for: endings

The Perfect Ending

by Bethany Maines

Sci-fi season is done and I’m back to working on
mysteries!  Yay!  Something I’m utterly comfortable with and
totally know how to do.  Wait… how do you
do this again?  I think I’ve got genre
whiplash.  Can I just toss in some aliens
at the end of this thriller and solve everything?
As I plug away toward the ending on my latest WIP
(work-in-progress) I find myself struggling to find the perfect stopping point
(that doesn’t include aliens). Some genres are more forgiving of ambiguity in
an ending, but I think that across all genre’s the perfect ending is one that
feels satisfactory to the characters. I’ve read many books where it was as
though author just wandered off and their lead character is left twisting in
the wind. (Grapes of Wrath, I’m looking at you. 
Just because you couldn’t come up with more tortures for your characters
does not mean you just get to quit writing Steinbeck.) I’m all for leaving room
for character development and a sequel, but… uh… let’s have a little bit of
satisfaction for the reader and character.
And an author probably shouldn’t subvert their genre too
hard.  Hamlet is not meant to end with
Hamlet and Ophelia riding off into the sunset. 
Romances should definitely have the two main characters getting together
and mysteries should solve the damn mystery. 
Don’t betray the audiences trust just to be clever.  But that still leaves a lot of leeway.  Just HOW do I want my characters to get
together?  What’s the perfect way to expose
the murderer?  It’s like I’ve got a
choose-your-own-adventure in my head and I’m the only one who can figure out if
I’m supposed to flip to page 42 or 117. 
So wish me luck as I venture off to page 117.  Hopefully I don’t die.

3 novels, 1 low price
Welcome to the universe of Galactic Dreams, where fairy tales are reimagined for a new age—the future.

Bethany Maines is the author of the Carrie Mae Mystery SeriesSan Juan Islands MysteriesShark Santoyo Crime Series, and numerous short stories. When she’s not traveling to exotic lands, or kicking some serious butt with her fourth degree black belt in karate, she can be found chasing her daughter or glued to the computer working on her next novel. You can also catch up with her on YouTubeTwitter and Facebook.