Writers talk a lot about the opening hook and the first five pages of a story. There isn't a lot of hype out there on endings, so I thought today's post could talk a little about that. Basically, there are four ways the story can end:
1. Hero fails completely - generally, this is not satisfying for the reader, but may be a set up for a second book or a series.
2. Hero succeeds – this can be hard to pull off, but your protagonist needs to end up in a better place than where she started. Usually this follows a pattern of three try/fail cycles where the hero fails in the first two, and has a huge win in the last cycle.
3. The protagonist is struggling to gain something and discovers that she wants something else more – discovers something more important.
4. The protagonist gets what she wants but has to give something else in return…she takes her beating – This gives the writer a lot of opportunity to develop conflict, and often works the best.
In romance novels there are a few rules, one of which is that there has to be a happy ending. This doesn't mean it can't have a lot of confilct and twists (on the contrary) but does mean that the protagonist has to get the guy in the end.