Any advice on knowing when you've truly ended a book. I'm not talking about drafts but the actual ending. I thought I had a fitting one, but six weeks later, I can see it's a bit abrupt and doesn't explain too much. I can come up with several scenarios for another chapter. Or does that final added chapter often serve only to tie things up too much, explain what most readers would intuit. Which do you prefer-the abrupt but surprising ending or one that lays things out more. What novel do you remember as ending especially well.
(The novel is a sort of suspense story.)

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Such great advice. I think I'll write it and then decide. Sometimes the proof is in the writing. Thanks so much.
That's EXACTLY right, Patricia. Jack Bludis and I were just chatting about this. Both of us have a feel for when a scene or new direction isn't right and we stop to think it through to make sure the character motivation works and makes sense. It's that gut reaction thing. And I am firmly convinced there are a 1000 or more ways to write any one story or scene or POV, so you have to make the best judgement call you can. Tap into your own instinct to know if your ending will ultimately be satisfying for your readership.
In my novels I began knowing the opening and what the ending would be and I have to work all the inbetween out to reach the conclusion. Sometimes I've read books that use the last chapter to clear up loose ends, but for me when I've reached what I knew I wanted the end to be, I end it. Of course, it's not that simple because character that were good, turn out bad even tho I didn't expect that, and someone I knew was the bad guy/gal just turns into the savior, but that's all stuffing, the end is still the cooked bird.
I knew what the ending would be from the beginning. But apparently that ending is too abrupt for some readers. I like it but I can see such a dramatic moment being in the last paragraph may be a mistake. What I am adding may be detracting, but I think I'll write it and then decide. What I find myself writing is not tying up loose ends exactly, but it takes her to a point farther down the road. Thanks so much for the help.


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