Five Ways to End A Novel

The end of a novel is more important than the beginning.

It’s what your readers will take with them from your book. It’s your closing argument and the last thing they read. And it’s what they will remember when they think back to your story in a couple of years, if they remember anything at all.

Make your novel remembered.

Here are Five Ways to End A Novel so your readers, remember your novel:

#1 Take them by surprise

Surprise works every single time. That’s because us humans are just curious creatures. You could uncover a surprising fact or give the action a surprising twist. Anyways, your readers will appreciate being astonished; after all, that’s what they are reading stories for.

Your readers will have certain expectations. They depend on the genre, the protagonists, the language, and so on… Be aware of your readers’ expectations. Put yourself in their shoes. Then give them something they don’t expect, but still makes sense for your story.

#2 Fade out

The ending doesn’t want to bring suspense, puzzle or get you to think. It’s all about mood. It’s a slow ending. Try to make your reader really feel the power of the moment, be it terrifying, happy, sad, or sentimental.

Leave the reader with a unique vibe, and she will appreciate it. Sometimes, it’s all your closure needs.

#3 Punchline

With this one, you have to be careful. You could tell a joke or describe surprising action, but make it count. Your punchline doesn’t have to be funny. It could be an action or a simple observation. In any case, it should connect to the story topic, even if it’s just a symbolic hint. Otherwise it will be up in the air and look arbitrary.

#4 Open Questions and Create Suspense

If you want to tickle your reader with suspense, cue an open ending: Ok, the Evil King is defeated, but will his Queen rage war again?

These kind of endings will keep your readers on their toes and make them long for more. But be aware that they can also be very unsatisfying. After all, your reader bought your book so he can hear from you what happened. “Just imagine the rest yourself,” can be a little unsatisfactory. But if you have delivered a great deal of action beforehand and if the question is rather vague, it might be worth it.

#5 Repeat the theme of the opening scene

Whatever your story is about, it probably circles around one specific topic: Be it the struggles of love, the rewards of honesty, or whatever else. It’s what keeps your readers breathless throughout the story. Now give them one last reminder of what they came for, one condensed moment of your topic, a big final exclamation mark!

You have many options to repeat your main theme in the closure. Think of people, actions, details.

Is there another way you can end your novel?


If you think someone has an interesting point of view and answer, please invite them or share this post to them.

#DWTSmith #novelideas

Scene ending

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