If there’s one thing that annoys me more than anything else when I’m reading, it is the climax that flaps about like a fish out of water and then a ‘so what’ stupid ending. I feel particularly disgruntled when I have spent many hours patiently reading (page by page and sentence by sentence) a book that seemed to promise a breath-taking climax, only to find the writer chickened out and produced a wet firework instead of an explosive high point.
Endings and climaxes are two different things, I do realise, but they should both produce a feeling of satisfaction if the reader is to feel the story was worth reading. In thriller writing the climax is the point at which you should feel excited (read thrilled) and can’t wait to see how it all comes out!
In thrillers, one of the best (and most used) climaxes is when someone’s life is threatened or someone is about to be killed and the hero has to keep on fighting against all the odds until he finally succeeds and overcomes the threats. Building up to this point in a proper believable way needs to be appropriately handled according to the story.
The ending is somewhat down river of this high point but it too should produce a feeling of satisfaction that all has turned out as it should. The ending should also fulfil and answer the original story question posed at the beginning of the book. All loose ends need to be tied up at this point and the reader should know it is the end of the story. Not turning the last page to see if there is any more…
So are your scenes properly built up so the reader stays in the story? Are your endings rewarding the reader?