How to Write Endings: or how to get the octopus to bed

Carly Watters, Literary Agent Blog

Last week I wrote about beginnings, this week I want to talk about endings.

Endings are very specific to each person’s own story so I can’t give individualized advice, but the most important thing is that endings must feel satisfying to the reader. ‘Satisfying’ is a very subjective word and it will mean something different to each reader. But here’s a good description: An ending is where tension is relieved because a conflict has come to a peak and everything has changed. The world will look different to the main character and reader now.

Do I need a happy ending?

Not necessarily. One of the defining factor of literary fiction is that there is no happy ending, where as with commercial fiction you must have a happy ending. Literary fiction readers come to expect the ending won’t be a perfectly happy one it just needs to be suitable for…

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