Dec 24, 2017

The Write-A-Story Calendar Day 24: A Killer Closing Line

Okay, home stretch. Last 350 words. No pressure, but you're coming up on a crucial part of the story, the closing line. It's as important as the opening one, because it's the bit people will remember, the bit that stays with them, the last touch of flavour that lingers. Best case scenario? You already know how your story should end, and it chimes just the right chord with the reader. Try to go for something (metaphorical?) that niftily sums up your theme and is beautiful to boot. Taste that final line, read it out loud. Does it flow? Do you need to change a word or two? Don't settle for the almost right word here. It's not enough to just get the job done; this sentence has to shine.

If you're having trouble, get a few of your favourite books and check out their closing lines. When you read a great final line, you just know. Same with your story: you'll know when it's right.

Okay, type in those last words, I'll wait.

Aaand you're done. Congratulations! Now put the story down and go decapitate a few gingerbread people or decimate a box of Christmas candy. (And that means you only get to eat one yummy chocolatey treat in ten if we're being literal. People who take things literally seem to be on the thinner side, have you noticed?)

One last thing. Listen up, because this is important. Under no circumstances rush to submit your story. Just leave it alone and enjoy the holidays, no peeking until next year. You can tune in on New Year's Day for a bonus chapter on editing and submitting if you want, or just give the story a once-over and send it to your critique group if you already have one. Trust me, it's much less embarrassing that way, and your odds of selling the story are much greater if you give it the time it needs.

Thanks for joining us, and have a fantastic Christmas. May all your presents be book-shaped and full of wonder!

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