The art of conclusion
Lots of beginner writers manage somehow to struggle their ways to the end of their novels, through countless sleepless nights and downing hundreds of litres of coffee only to find they can’t provide a conclusion to the work. They hang around the end, set out to finally finish it several times, or just pass the end of it.
There are countless ways of ending a novel. It could have a sad, a mystical, a comic or even a tragic conclusion. The most important thing worth remembering is that the writer has actually signed a contract with the reader at the beginning of the novel. He has promised something, laid down a basic principle, or just asked a question governing the whole novel to which the reader is expecting an answer. As we have promised the reader something, it is our duty to keep it at the end of our novel.
1. If we have promised a mystery, we should conclude the story with a solution.
2. If we have promised sin, let us sooth the reader with reparation.
3. If we have promised confusion, conclude it with understanding.
4. If we have promised torture, we should provide relief at the end.
5. If we have promised a funny story, we should conclude with the punchline.
6. If we promise a love story, the purpose should be the development of a relationship.
So it makes no difference whether a story comes to a sad or cheerful conclusion – what matters is that the outcome of the story is consistent with what we promised at the beginning of the novel.