Something very practical this week!
Closing story arcs is a vital part of our stories.
What do I mean by that?
Here’s an example:
A girl moves with her dad to a new town after her mum dies. She has an adventure in her new town, and the adventure is resolved by the end of the story. The main story arc is therefore neatly closed…
BUT: do we find out why her mum died? Do we find out why she moved to a new town in the first place? If mini story arcs have been opened, they also need to be closed. Because there’s a story behind these two elements, for sure, and readers will be wondering about them.
You may have chosen to have the girl move to a new town with her dad because it suited the story. But you have to give your readers a good reason, or it will seem odd.
Don’t leave your readers guessing – they will want to know!
You may say, I’m planning on telling them in a sequel. If you are, make sure they’re not so frustrated at not finding out, and cross with you for not ending the story properly, that they don’t even want to read the sequel!
Usually, it’s just that you’ve been so engrossed in the new adventure, that you’ve forgotten that you have raised questions in your readers’ minds, that need resolving.
So make sure you tie up all your loose ends. Sometimes it’s difficult to see these things yourself (we all have blind spots!), so get yourself a writing buddy, or get a professional manuscript criticism, or join us in Writers for a Reason Unite.
Quick caveat: If you are planning to write a sequel, and want to leave on a note of intrigue at the very end of your novel about the next move, that’s different. Simply tie up the old ends before you start on a new adventure. 🙂
Hope that helps!
Until next time,