It’s a new year, and resolutions are all the rage. Perhaps, instead of demanding some unreasonable daily word count of yourself, it’s the other resolution you should be worried about—the one at the end of your text. Whether you’re writing fiction or non-fiction a strong conclusion is critical to the success of most writing.
If your work has a less conventional structure, make sure you establish this early and stick to it. Otherwise, your readers will resent having been led through your piece of writing when, in the end, there’s no gathering together of strands in some sort of comprehensive fashion. And yet it’s surprising how many times sloppy endings let down writing that had seemed confident and coherent.
A few loose ends is fine in fiction, particularly in some genre fiction, where unresolved plot elements are par for the course. But a meandering finish to any text is likely to leave a sour taste.
In texts where the primary narrative or argumentative thread has been clearly established early on, a solid and logical conclusion is required. It can’t be left languishing in the author’s head, or on the page somewhere, to find ‘between the lines’.
So before you commit to another unachievable New Year’s writing resolution maybe check the resolutions you made last year—the critical final chapters or pages of the pieces you’ve told yourself are finished.
May your words pour onto the page,