by Kathy Cannon Wiechman
Think of the ending of your favorite book. Did it leave you wanting more? Wiping tears? Did it surprise you? Did it make you think? Did you close the cover with a satisfied smile?
Great books have ended with all of these possibilities. If the ending stayed with you, it was probably a good book.
|Last scene of Gone with the Wind. |
The book was written by Margaret Mitchell.
When a book makes me cry, it means I became emotionally involved with the characters. For me, that’s a sign of a good book. The book has to make me care. Maybe a character I loved died, but if I cared enough to love that character, it was probably a good book.
|Last scene of A Beautiful Mind. |
The book was written by Sylvia Nasar.
A surprise ending is better than a formulaic story, but if the surprise doesn’t feel plausible, it probably isn’t a good book. A plot twist I wasn’t expecting can work well, as long as it feels real to me.
An ending that makes me think can go either way. Maybe it introduced serious issues I hadn’t thought much about and made me want to know more. Or maybe it just made me scratch my head and ask, “Why did I waste my time?”
Personally, I don’t like sad endings, but bittersweet is OK. Hopeful is good. It doesn’t have to be wrapped up in a neat package, but I don’t want loose threads left hanging. I like to have that satisfied smile, even as I wipe away the tears.
|Last scene of Last of the Mohicans. |
The book was written by James Fenimore Cooper.