If you really want to delight your reader, aim to tie up all the details that make for delicious, quirky threads of plot. These will make your book fly out of the luggage and into a compartment inside your reader’s heart. It is never too soon to begin thinking about what you will write in the last chapter of your book. Every novel is a journey to take a reader to a destination. It carries a core message and new ideas they can apply to their own life adventure. 

To get this process moving, I’m taking steps in my novel to make sure nothing is lost and the plot stays exciting and satisfying right up to the end. Try them to see if they work for you too:

  • Click on the square in the upper right of your tool bar so you are typing in a small window. Open a second window, save it as ‘Ending,’ and keep it small too. Now you can transfer copy from one box to the other as you work.
  • Let’s say you work on the left of the desktop and transfer to the right.
  • My book is about a couple’s long marriage, and I begin each day by going back to the beginning and asking myself questions.
  • If you see something that could be swept under the carpet, copy and paste a phrase or two to your right-hand box.

Here are Potential Ironic Trouble-makers

  • A beloved coat. Could this be the root of a tragic downfall?
  • A superficial disagreement. Did they go on arguing about this for sixty years?
  • A joke. Who laughed the last and the longest?
  • A promise. Surely he was kidding!
  • A soloist dilemma. Was it not over until the fat lady sang?
  • A dream. Sounds to me like it had eerie implications.
  • A wish. Oh, oh. Be careful!
  • An unfinished ‘to-do’ list.
  • Favorite color, collectible, fetish, habit — any of these might be significant symbols in the end.

Tip: To make your book dynamic to write and delicious to read, start thinking about the ending right from the beginning and make notes as you proceed.