Tie things up!

We’ve all heard of loose ends. TIE THINGS UP!

Nothing is more annoying than getting to the end of the book, finding no more pages, and still wondering, “What the heck happened to this other plot line?” (Unless, of course, there is a promise of a sequel.)

In a short story, it is a nice touch to tie the ending to the opening hook. I mean, if the heroine is lonely at the beginning scene, it’s great to have her in the arms of a lover at the end. That’s a no brainer. Right?

The same thing is true in a mystery. If someone is mysteriously killed at the beginning, that murderer better be revealed by the final page of your story.

I, personally, like multi-plotted tales. I love trying to keep up with ten things at once, and bringing them all together at the end, where it comes to a real climax. There should be clues along the way to let us know why these people or their storylines have something to do with the rest of what’s going on. Sometimes, when I write, I have to go back after the story is all done and put in better clues.

Think of your story as a tapestry. I know this is a lame and overused cliche of a metaphor. Sorry. (Do I need to say, don’t use cliche’s?) Back to the tapestry concept…each plot is woven with many threads, some threads are people, others are details, or actions, and more are emotions. If we don’t care about what’s going on, tell me what’s the point…? That’s why getting into a point of view is important.

In tapestry making, the weaver sometimes has to tie threads off. In a mystery, those are red herrings that don’t go anywhere but seem promising at first glance.

The thing is…if you create a dead end, let us know by the end of the story that it is dead. If you leave it open, you darn well better be writing a sequel that gives us closure!

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