Sunday, August 16, 2015

Sunday's Links to Writing & Marketing Blog Posts

By: Linda S. Clare

I’ve read bestselling novels where the story felt as though it should end but instead the novel went on for many more pages. Although a lot of attention is paid to that all-important opening, let’s talk about the elements of good story endings.

Writing Tip for Today: What are some things to consider when your story draws to a close?


Before you can consider your novel’s ending, you must know where the climax scene is located. In a traditional three-act structure, the climax is generally JUST BEFORE ACT III, or in other words at the tail end of ACT II. The climax should be a singular event, with more tension, action and more at stake than any scene previous. In most novels, this climax scene occurs when the MAIN STORY QUESTION is decided by ACTIONS your protagonist takes. No more talking about what she’ll do or not do. She must ACT. And your protagonist must solve her own problems–no cavalry riding in to save the day. Take a look at any paper & ink book and you’ll find that this climax scene generally comes within 30-50 pages of the end of the book. Make sure you save the biggest scene of the novel for this climax.


The scenes which follow your novel’s climax or do or die scene are often called “Rounding up the horses.” Generally speaking, this means you must bring to a conclusion not only the main story goal/problem, but also any subplots in the story.  If you introduce Grandma who has cancer at the beginning of a novel, but then never tell whether she’s cured, dies or is still undergoing treatment, readers won’t like it. The formula for Romance-genre applies to every subplot: either the protagonist is happy, unhappy or happy for now about a subplot’s outcome. Rounding up the horses will also apply to your antagonist’s fate. Readers will want to know what happens to the main antagonist. In mainstream/literary fiction, it’s okay (in my opinion) to hint at a direction the character seems to be going rather than supplying a pat or neat answer. I guess that’s like rounding up the horses but leaving the gate slightly open.


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If you missed my writing & marketing tweets and retweets yesterday, here they are again:
  • Emotional Wounds Thesaurus Entry: Being Mugged - WRITERS HELPING WRITERS™WRITERS HELPING WRITERS™
  • How to Create a Website as a Writer (Without it Costing You Both One Arm and One Leg)
  • Quick Writing Fix: Improving Story Endings | Linda S. Clare
  • But Me, I’m the Catalyst* | Confessions of a Mystery Novelist...
  • 5 tips for handling amnesia and back story | Nail Your Novel
  • Dialog Writing 101: Conversational Mechanics | Live Write Thrive
  • Karen Woodward: 4 Tips For Finding Beta Readers Right For You
  • Self-editing masterclass snapshots – ‘My drafts are too brief’ | Nail Your Novel
  • Flash Flood Fiction : Why I Stopped Promoting My Book On Twitter
  • Writing Advice from the Bookshelf: Nancy Kress on Taking a Wrong (Story) Turn |
  • Why Scene Making is a Great Idea | Linda S. Clare
  • Anne R. Allen's Blog: Why Social Media is Still Your Best Path to Book Visibility
  • Third Person, Present Tense Is My Space Jam « terribleminds: chuck wendig
  • A Newbie's Guide to Publishing: On Character Building (with Ann Voss Peterson and Linda Style)
  • Introducing Authors' New, Free Entry into Libraries: SELF-e | Live Write Thrive
  • Tips For Being a Writer - Elizabeth Spann Craig
  • KDP Select Titles Being Pirated and Distributed to Other Stores | Lindsay Buroker
Happy writing and running, Kathy

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