Endings are difficult and you need to be careful about being predictable. You also need to creature closure and not draw it out for too long. After years, I’ve been thinking a lot about how to end Legends of Windemere. One thing I did decide on is that there was going to be a few twists and turns heading into the grand battle. Yet, I’m not going to do the whole ‘fake ending’ trick because that’s just cruel after 15 books.
Many of the twists will revolve around the fates of the characters and how the battle will be going back and forth. I’ve said a few times that nobody is getting out of this intact. It could be a physical reminder or a mental one, but you can only find out when the book comes out. Seriously though, I think throwing a small curve in the ending isn’t a bad thing. People do love small surprises and action adventures like what I write have a dependence on a ‘wow’ factor. It shouldn’t come before good storytelling, but you can have the two work together. Much of it depends on setting things up in previous volumes to make sure the ending works.
To be honest, I tried my best to set up for the twists while not making them obvious. A few hints that things weren’t what they seem and an allusion to the Baron having some influence over the champion prophecy. The specifics weren’t designed until I did the final outline for the finale earlier this year. Even then, I changed some things around when I was doing the writing. It’s nerve-rattling to do this because you don’t get a second chance at an ending. Previous plot twist mistakes can be explained or undone down the road in a volume with some creative writing. In the last volume, you’re setting everything in stone and every twist has a risk. Fingers crossed that I pull it off.
So, what do you look for in an ending twist?