Your Story’s Closing Line: 7 Practical Tips

I’m a firm advocate of the line of thought that your story’s final sentence is the most powerful line of the whole book. That one line has the power of thousands and thousands of words behind it, and it can and should pack a punch. Here are seven practical ways to write a solid closing line, compiled from my own reading and writing experience.

#1 Make it unique to your story

If your closing line could be used in any other story, change it so that it only works for yours. Don’t settle for the generic “And they lived happily ever after.”

#2 Make it meaningful

Your closing line shouldn’t be random or empty. It carries a lot of weight, and it should reflect the drive behind your whole novel.

#3 Reflect the tone of your novel

If the overarching tone of your novel is cheerful, a sad last sentence will seem awkward and out of place.

#4 Make it emotional

This is very important! Your readers have just spent hours, days, and weeks suffering alongside your cast of characters. They deserve a last sentence that appeals to their emotions and leaves them wanting more.

Note: by emotional, I don’t necessarily mean sad. Simply engage your reader’s various emotions. (Sad works, though.)

#5 Keep it short

Short sentences are more impacting, and your last sentence needs to be as impacting as possible.

#6 Relate it to the story

Avoid last sentences that have nothing to do with the story. Readers should be able to say “Oh, I get it! It ended like that because…”

#7 Circularity is your friend

You get bonus points from your reader if the last sentence strikes a familiar chord. An extreme example would be having the last sentence and the first sentence be the same, or very similar. Or, you could have the last sentence be something that was repeated throughout the novel and now carries extra meaning. It’s up to you!

The bottom line is this: the last sentence in your novel is the final chance you have to connect with the reader. Make it emotionally satisfying, unique to your story, put time and effort into it, and make your readers want to come back for more. Don’t settle!

What do you do to choose the last line in your novel? What are some of your favorite closing lines from books you’ve read or written? I’d love to hear from you in the comment section!


Book Cover Reveal!

Today’s post is one I’ve been looking forward to for a long time. I’m revealing the (just about) finished cover for my next fantasy novel, Where The Woods Grow Wild!

I hired a fantastic graphic designer to work on the cover, and I’m truly happy with the results. The fact that she happens to be my sister is also mildly awesome. You guys should definitely check out her website/work at Orca Creative Studios.

You’ll notice a few things about the cover. First, the blurb is missing. I haven’t actually written one yet, so that’ll get slapped on eventually. Second, the ISBN is a fake. It’s just there to look shiny. Third, there’s still plenty of time to make tweaks, so your feedback is welcome! This is, however, basically the final product. So if you say ew yuck start over I’ll just throw a kumquat at you.

Anyway, here it is! Let me know what you think.

Where the Woods Grow Wild.jpg

If you’ve been keeping track, you’ll know that Where The Woods Grow Wild was originally scheduled for a late April release. That’s not going to happen anymore, but I hope to have it ready for June. Thanks again for your support, feedback, and encouragement!

Have a great day, everyone.

Siblinghood of the World Blog Tag

Siblinghood of the World Blogger Award is a thing, apparently. I was nominated by Sarah Mitchell-Jackson (thanks again!) Check out her post here.

The idea of the blog tag is to answer the ten proposed questions and come up with ten new questions for ten other bloggers. Well, let’s crack on!

#1 What is your favorite breakfast?

Normally I just have coffee. I’m not a huge breakfast person. But I do quite enjoy a dark or white chocolate croissant with said coffee.

#2 What is the shortest piece you have written?

I entered a flash-fiction challenge with my 100-word story, Swim. I believe that’s my shortest work.

#3 What made you decide to start blogging?

Honest answer: I can’t remember. I’ve been blogging on various sites for four or five years now. I think I just enjoy the general process.

#4 What is your desk like?

Clear. I don’t like working at a cluttered desk, so I’ve got a lamp, a candle, and plenty of space.

#5 Who or what inspires you to write?

I try not to rely on inspiration to write. That being said, a bit of fresh air and a good view never hurt.

#6 If it weren’t for social media, how many other writers would you know?

A couple of my close college friends are writers, but other than them, I don’t think I personally know any outside of social media.

#7 What do you read?

Fantasy novels almost exclusively. Occasionally I’ll pick up a dystopian or a thriller, but…yeah. Fantasy is the best!

#8 If you didn’t write, what would you do instead with your time?

I like the idea of starting up a serious Youtube channel. Perhaps an LPer or something. Or something else that allows me to vent creativity.

#9 What do you tell your family about your writing while you’re working on something?

Absolutely nothing.

#10 What is your favorite word and why?

My two favorite words are plethora and disgruntled. I don’t know why. They’re just great words.

Alright, those are my answers! As far as tagging people, let’s do this: if you read this and want to participate, consider yourself tagged. I’ve been doing a good number of blog tags in recent months, and I don’t want to be annoying!

My questions for you:

  1. How do you go about naming your chapters?
  2. What’s your favorite character name inspiration/source?
  3. Do you have a preferred book length to read?
  4. How many characters (estimate) have you killed off in all your projects?
  5. What’s the most you’ve ever written in one day?

Have a great day, everyone.