Monday, June 16, 2008



Just like real life, endings in our books are sometimes dramatic, occasionally sudden, once in a while drug out in like a terminal illness but then, just every now and then, they are sweet, just and better than you ever thought they could be.

I love it when the story gets the main characters into a deeper and ever deeper mess. There just doesn't seem to be any way out, until the characters just throw in everything but the kitchen sink, against all odds, giving it one last shot, all or nothing and then, despite all the cards stacked against them, they come out on top, win the woman or man of their dreams, become the town hero and win the day. Even better, because of their enormous effort and noble character, they win the lottery or find the gold at the end of the rainbow as well as winning their true love and defeating the enemy.

I've written some good endings and some so-so endings. I have two favorites. The first is from the first short story I wrote that was published by Rhapsody Romance back in the day. It's about a woman with a horrible scar on her face who has discovered a way to surgically implant artificial optics to help the blind see. The hero is a man of the future whose people are all born blind--except him. At the very end the heroine is embarrassed that he can see her horrible scarred face. Here is the ending from BLIND INTUITION.

"Oh, Maria," Roth whispered as he kissed me and cupped my face in his hands, "Everything will work itself out."
He brushed my cheek gently with the back of his hand, "And the scar, well, who doesn't have a scar of some kind or other? A scar is just a place that hurt once then healed."

The second ending is from THE VIOLIN published this year by Amira Press. Of course, I might just wait to share that one with you since it would ruin the story for you. But you get my point I'm sure that endings are as important as beginnings. If that story doesn't end the way you promised, readers are going to howl with disappointment and I can't blame them. I've quit reading books by authors who left me high and dry at the end. I read Stephen King's IT. It was a fat book filled with clues about a monster that no one could see but children. There were so many wonderful clues about innocence, water and the lack of response by adults. I knew the end was going to be something spectacular. Well, disappointment reigns because the wonderful clues were just red herrings leading nowhere and the monster turned out to be a lame space spider. Yep. Space spider. That was the last Stephen King I ever read. As much as I respect him, it's like he just got tired of writing the story and dumped me off at the curb.
Endings are difficult to write, as difficult as beginnings. But when it's done right, it's the cake, the icing and the plate!
I hope you've read or written some great endings and I would be glad if you would share those endings with me. Bring 'em on.

All good things to your corner of the universe.

Sarah McNeal

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