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"Hard is not hopeless." - General David Petraeus

Monday, December 8, 2008

Novel Endings

On a writer’s loop I’m on, we’ve been discussing novel endings. Sort of the good, the bad and the ugly of novel endings. I’m sure you’ve seen them – book endings that make you mad because they left you hanging to force you to buy the next book; book endings that made absolutely no sense whatsoever; books that ended too rapidly and too rushed; and of course the perfect story endings that leave you with a sigh of contentment.

It was also mentioned that when a novel is done right, it provides an ending that sticks in your mind.

That got me to thinking about my all time favorite novel, Zane Grey’s Forlorn River. And from the very first time I read it (and I’ve read it oodles of times since), this one phrase has stuck in my mind always:

“So long, pard. We’re square!”

No, it wasn’t the very ending of the book (5-6 pages from the end). But it could have been. Those five words, with all the magnificent import behind them, were so powerful they’ve lodged permanently in my brain, never to go away.

So I’m tossing the question out to you. What is your favorite novel ending?

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