Tag Archives: Writing Tips

5 tips for crafting a satisfying conclusion

In an earlier post, we discussed the importance of a strong beginning, but having a strong ending to your story is just as important. The end of your story is the last impression with which you will leave your readers, and it can make or break their enjoyment of your work. A weak ending can leave readers feeling unsatisfied, confused, or even angry, while a strong conclusion can leave them feeling fulfilled, satisfied, and eager to read more of your work.

fantasy book leading to satisfying conclusion and ending

Crafting a satisfying conclusion to your story is a delicate balance between wrapping up loose ends, resolving conflicts, and having a lasting impact on the reader. Here are a few tips that will help you do this and leave your readers wanting more:

1. Tie up loose ends.

Be sure to tie up all major plot points and conflicts introduced throughout the story, resolving them in a satisfying way. By doing this, your readers will feel they have a complete understanding of the story and that it all makes sense.

2. Resolve all conflicts.

The climax of your story should be the resolution of the central conflict, but it’s also essential to ensure that any subplots or minor conflicts get resolved. Subplots and other conflicts can be resolved anywhere in your manuscript, including before the climax (in the rising action) or after (in the falling action).

3. Leave a lasting impression.

The ending should be memorable and thought-provoking. It should leave your reader thinking about your story long after reading, whether it is a moral, message, or feeling.

4. Show, don’t tell.

Instead of summarizing or telling the reader what the characters feel—show it through their actions and dialogue. This will make the ending more emotional and powerful. For more on showing and not telling, see How to Paint Tangerine Dreams and Marmalade Sky Word Pictures.

5. Keep it simple.

Avoid using unnecessary plot twists or convoluted explanations in the ending (i.e., do not conclude your book with a huge passage of exposition, also known as information dump). Keep it simple and to the point.

In conclusion…

A strong ending should tie up loose ends, resolve conflicts, and leave your reader with food for thought. If you keep these tips in mind, you are sure to write powerful endings that will leave your readers coming back for more.

The Art of Dialogue: How to Write Engaging Conversations

Dialogue in fiction serves to advance the plot and reveal information about characters, but it also brings the story to life. Many authors struggle to write dialogue that feels natural and engaging. To help with that, here are some tips for writing more effective dialogue.

Dialogue should sound like real people talking, but try to avoid filler words like “um” and “ah” and overly formal or stilted speech. Too many filler words and pauses slow your dialogue, thus slowing the pace of your narrative. Consider the setting and culture of the characters in your story, as the way people speak in a small rural town will be different than in a big city. Also, the way people speak and the slang they use will be very different in a historical piece than in a modern one.

Another important aspect of dialogue is subtext, which refers to the underlying meaning of what characters say. Subtext can add depth to a conversation, making it more interesting. For example, a character might say “I’m fine” when they’re clearly not; the subtext is that they’re hiding something.

When writing dialogue, also consider the pacing. Long monologues can be boring and slow down the narrative. Instead, break up the conversation with shorter exchanges and include nonverbal cues like body language and facial expressions to make the conversation feel more natural and engaging.

Another thing to consider is a character’s personality and motivations. Each character should have a unique voice and way of speaking. This can be achieved through the use of different filler words, patterns in grammar, and sentence structure. For example, a character with a more formal education might speak differently than a character that dropped out of high school. A scientist might think of everything in scientific terms (e.g., “clavicle” instead of “shoulder bone”).  

Dialogue should serve a purpose. It should reveal information about the characters, advance the plot, and create tension. Avoid including dialogue that doesn’t add anything to the story, including long conversations about small talk. Consider picking up your conversations in medias res (Latin for “in the middle of things), eliminating lengthy greetings. Similarly, don’t be afraid to stop reporting on conversations after the important things have been discussed but before their natural conclusion.

Lastly, when editing your dialogue, read it out loud to make sure it sounds natural and believable. If it sounds forced or unrealistic when spoken, it will likely sound the same when read.

Writing dialogue is an art form in and of itself, requiring practice and attention to detail. If you keep the techniques discussed above in mind, you are bound to create engaging and believable conversations that will help reveal character, build conflict and suspense, and keep your readers invested in the story.