Saturday, 8 February 2014

Satisfying middles and thriller endings.

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’ 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! Perhaps you should even feel like your on the high point of a roller coaster...
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 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 as you approach this part 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 is thrilled/excited? Are your endings rewarding the reader? Do you agree that this is important?



  1. It is so important, and so hard to get right. I think this is where your critique partners are really needed.

  2. A satisfying ending will make your reader want to read more, so definitely important to get it right x

  3. I have been struggling mightily with exactly that part of my WIP. I'm past the climax now and into falling action. It's a first draft and not yet ripe -- but at least I've got something besides a blank page to work on now! :D