I know, sympathies accepted.
Anyway...in the drudgery of the outlining phase, I dug through old notebooks and came across a really fantastic set of notes I took on
How to avoid writing a sucky ending
Here's what not to write:
Duh: an ending that's obvious to everyone but the MC (the shadowy figure with the bad breath that the MC keeps ignoring)
Over-the-top: an ending with an overdose of drama or violence (the MC holds everyone at bay with a machine gun)
Spill all: Think Scooby Doo. The antagonist, for no apparent reason, begins to talk-talk-talk
And then I woke up: an ending that suggests the rest of the book is a dream or didn't really happen
Out of sight: the all important ending confrontation happens off stage
But, but, but: the ending fails to tie up all the loose ends and explain why things happened.
Yeah, right: the ending leaves the reader having to assume that some key part of what happened was due to coincidence
Now it's time for true confessions.
Let me start by saying I hope I don't do these any longer...but I have in years past been guilty of: out of sight, duh and spill all. I think I've learned...but it's always good to have a reminder.
Question: I know you'd never do it now, but have you ever committed any of these ending crimes in your early writing years? Have you read books with disappointing edgings? What was it about the ending that made it so?