The Characteristic Moment Belongs at the End of Your Book Too

The Characteristic Moment Belongs at the End of Your Book Too

This week’s video talks about the little-discussed characteristic moment at the end of your story, which bookends the one at the beginning. Video Transcript: I know you’re totally all over the idea that the beginning of your book needs to feature your protagonist in a characteristic moment. The idea, of course, behind this is that […]

5 Ways to Write a Killer Plot Twist

I love plot twists. Mistaken identities, sneaky plans, sleight of hand—it’s all grand. Nothing makes me happier than a story that pulls the rug out from under me and shows me that my perception of the story up to that point is nowhere near as cool as the reality. But, by the same token, nothing […]

The Biggest Problem With Trick Endings

This week’s video talks about the pitfalls of the always tempting trick endings. Video Transcript: Most readers love them some good trick endings. How long have people been talking about The Sting or The Sixth Sense? And what author among us wouldn’t like to replicate that kind of excitement and memorability? But there is a big problem with trick endings. […]

10 Stories With (Brilliant) Loose Ends

The ending of your story is going to be even more important than its beginning. If the beginning flops, readers will set the book aside and never think about it again. But if the ending fails, your book (and you) will live in infamy in the deep, dark dungeon of reader disdain. No pressure, right? Creating the perfect […]

Why Story Beginnings and Endings Must Be Linked

The ending of your story is a loooong way away from the beginning. Three hundred pages or 100,000 words is an extraordinary journey. Contemplating the ending from the vantage point of the beginning is like looking up at the top of Mt. Everest and imagining yourself, in all your windblown, frostbitten glory, standing there with your hands on your […]

Is the Cliffhanger Ending Overrated?

This week’s video explores the pros and cons of using a cliffhanger ending within a series. Video Transcript: Writers are told all the time they need to end their scenes, chapters, and even books—if they’re part of a series—with cliffhangers that will force readers to choose between either reading on to find out what happens, or, […]

Do You Know the Two Ingredients in a Perfect Book Ending?

This week’s video talks about how authors must magically combine inevitability and unexpectedness to give readers a perfect book ending. Video Transcript: Whether your story is a tragedy, a comedy, a “happily ever after” jaunt, or any variety and combination thereof, the one thing you want it to be is resonant. You want readers to close the book with […]

A Must-Know Tip for Writing Slam-Bang Finales

This week’s video talks about a simple technique you can use to encourage readers to keep turning your final pages deep into the wee hours of the morning. Video Transcript: The ends of our novels are make or break territory for our readers. If we’ve convinced them to keep reading this far, we had better […]

5 Elements of a Resonant Closing Line

As important as the opening line may be to convincing someone to read your book, the closing line is the one that determines how well your story works—and whether or not readers will find your story a satisfying experience. Last month, we talked about the 5 Elements of a Riveting Opening Line, and today we’re […]

Are All the Pieces in Place for Your Story’s Climax?

 The trick to providing readers with a satisfying story Climax is making certain all the pieces are already there. Stories are like puzzles—giant 5,000-piece puzzles you spread all over your table and spend a year putting together. By the time you only have a handful of pieces left—by the time your story’s Climax is coming […]