writing

The End

Cedar Sanderson in Ohio

Looking for Rainbow’s End

When you are reading a novel, how important is the end to you? What’s a great ending you remember? What’s one that will make you toss the book and think ‘never reading that author again’? I’m getting to the very end of Pixie Noir, and I want to make it good for you, my readers!

For grins and giggles, here’s some ending lines from a few more-or-less random books on my shelf.

Robert Heinlein’s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

“My word, I’m not even a hundred yet.”

Mickey Spillane’s The Deep

“Sergeant Hurd said, in a tired command voice, ‘nice going, Lieutenant.'”

Louis L’Amour’s Galloway

“But it was worth it because when I opened my eyes, Meg was there.”

James H. Schmitz’s The Witches of Karres

“‘Well,’ the captain muttered, heading hurriedly across the outer room towards the passage, ‘here we go again!'”

Margery Allingham’s More Work for the Undertaker

“It sounded ominously like Lugg.”

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11 thoughts on “The End

  1. “In the kitchen, Chub clung to the wall, made no sound whatsoever, but his mouth opened and closed, opened and closed, as he told himself, kept telling himself, that life was material, everything was material — you just had to live long enough to see how to use it.”

    William Goldman, “The Color of Light”

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      • That was the first book where I really understood how a final line could be like pulling a string that just slams home everything that happened in the previous 300 pages and leaves you sitting there with your jaw in your lap.

        Plus, it’s just a great book for any writer. Still the best depiction I’ve seen of what goes on inside our heads and how we often “rewrite” real life into our fiction.

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  2. The last lines of my book “Alaska Bush Mother” (non-fiction, sorry about that; and not yet published) of the trials and tribulations of dealing with five small children, and a mostly absent husband who helped the neighbors but didn’t even look for a paying job, while I cut and carried firewood, carried water from the lake, did laundry by hand, endured extreme winter cold and darkness in a poorly insulated cabin, became more and more deeply depressed while developing a large stomach ulcer (In my twenties), and finally got the courage to leave and head down the Alcan Highway with the children: “I didn’t stop. I didn’t look back.”

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  3. “As the song says, ‘the stories from my favorite books, take on many different looks and I’m home again gone again.'”
    –Jimmy Buffett, “A Pirate Looks at Fifty”

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  4. I like Bujold’s endings. I don’t remember particular lines, but I like the way she gives you the grand climax, and then all the tying up loose ends, being happy about it all, maybe a little gloating, and what have you. It’s all very satisfying.

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  5. Hmm. The first post got lost. I meant to say I liked Bujold’s endings. She has very exciting, grand climactic scenes, and then a whole lot of tying up loose ends, being happy about everything, explanations, everything anyone could want in an ending. It’s all very satisfying.

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