Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Last Line

There has been much written about the importance of the first line of a novel. At some point I’ll probably add to that discussion, but today I want to spend a minute or two talking about the last line of a novel.

To me, a perfectly composed ending line is the--pun intended--bookend. I generally start working with some sense of the ending in mind. Midway through the novel it has coalesced in my mind to where I can nearly see it. Then, as happened to me yesterday on the way back from visiting with my dialogue coach, the actual ending comes to me.

It happened that way with Blood Anjels, the book I recently released. I knew the feeling I wanted to leave with the reader almost from the beginning. It wasn’t until the three perfect words came to me that I knew I had it. And, no, I’m not going to tell you those three perfect words. And, if you’re one of those people who reads the ending first, they will be meaningless to you. They are, in fact, words the character has spoken before, but in this context their meaning is multiplied and they hit you in the heart.

As it turns out, there are three perfect words that will end The Crappy Used Diary. In the case of the new novel, they will not have been spoken or written before, but their truth will have been evident for about halfway through the novel. The zinger here will be quite different from the one in Blood Anjels. I think both sentences will leave you with the same chill.

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