Please welcome backÂ Densie WebbÂ whoseÂ first novel isÂ Youâll Be Thinking of Me.Â Densie is currently working on novels two and three, and sheâs alsoÂ a nonfiction writer/editor, mainly about health and nutrition. She has written forÂ The New York Times,Â Parade, been a columnist forÂ Prevention,Â Family CircleÂ and now writes for industry and trade organizations. She added fiction to the mix about six years ago and never looked back. She is a member of the Womenâs Fiction Writers Association, SheWrites, the Romantic Novelistsâ Association and the Romance Writers of America. Sheâs a music lover, walker (not of the dead variety), dreamer, warm-weather enthusiast, and has now acquired all of the usual writer quirks, including the uncontrollable urge to write about people and things that live only in her head. Connect with Densie onÂ FacebookÂ and onÂ Twitter.
Does Your Novel Have a Ta-Da Ending?
The opening lines of your novel are arguably the most important words you will write on the path to publication. Those words are what catch an agentâs eye, a publisherâs eye and ultimately the eye of your readers. Their importance is evidenced by the plethora of contests that ask you to submit the first 250 words, the first 500 words or maybe the first couple of pages. In fact, Writer Unboxedâs own Ray Rhamey has Flogging the Quill, where he asks if, after reading the opening lines, you would place your bet on the table and turn the page. No doubt, opening lines are important. There are no second chances, as they say, for making a first impression.
Much less focus seems to be placed on the ending of a novel. To be fair, you canât critique the last few lines of a book if you donât know everything that came before. But hereâs my thought: The opening may get you to turn the first page, but itâs the ending that stays with you long after youâve turned the last page. And, I believe itâs the bittersweet, heartrending endings that stay with you the longest, haunt you, leave you with an insistent unnamed yearning. It wonât let you forget. And isnât that what we all want from readersâto remember our words long after theyâve turned that last page?
The importance of endings was never more clear to me than recently when one of my all-time favorite post-apocalyptic movies (and Iâve seen a lot), I Am Legend starring Will Smith, was available on Netflix and I gave in to the urge to watch it âjust one more time.â A directorâs cut was available and I began streaming, expecting the same movie, with a few extended scenes or additional scenes that had ended up on the cutting room floor. What I got was a totally different ending. And I walked away with a totally different feeling. Warning: If you havenât seen the movie, there are spoilers ahead. [Read more…]