When is “The End” really a good end? To me a good ending has three components:
- It wraps up the question or story line your main character has been pursuing throughout the pages.
- Leaves unanswered questions only if there is a series or sequel in the mix.
- Should make sense to each of the characters you have spent so long developing.
I’m not going to give away any endings in middle grade books but I’ve read some with frustrating endings. Two characters walking away leaving too many holes for the reader to fill in; A surprise so out in left field that only the most gullible reader would believe; No ending at all, just a recap of what happened and hope for a better future; New plot lines introduced in the last 5 pages.
I’ve had a tough time with the ending to Awesome Sauce. The very first ending left too many of those unanswered questions. I finally tightened up the finish only to find I could go one of two directions. The one most everyone of my advanced readers saw was safe and happy and somewhat predictable. The other was a surprise ending. When asking my last group of critique specialists what they thought, their vote was 18-10 for the original ending. I went with the vote and kept the more predictable ending but there may be a spot for the surprise if Hender’s story continues.