What Makes a Good Novel Ending?

Have you ever invest hours in a novel only to be disappointed with how it ended? Well, millions of readers know how you felt. Making the readers engaged with the story is one thing, but to tie everything up into one satisfying ending is a whole different game.

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5 Signs of a Good Novel Ending

Writing a satisfying ending is a tough challenge. It may even be significantly harder than sitting down and start writing that first paragraph. However, to make your work as an author easier, you can keep in mind the following good signs of a good ending for a novel.


Thanos said he’s inevitable, but everyone knows that his plan will be foiled in the end. The ‘what’ is predictable, but the ‘how’ left movie-goers in anticipation. A good novel ending is like that. Even when the readers able to grasp the general idea of how the novel will end. The fresh details and twist make all the difference. Let’s be honest here — no one expected Tony to do what he did, right?

Answer all the questions

A good ending leaves nothing for an epilogue. Clear every issue and answer every question. You owe the readers that much. Since the novel ending is the exit, don’t drag and make it like an entrance to another room.

Of course, if you’re writing the first set of a trilogy, this suggestion does not apply. However, for anything else always remember to tie up every loose end and leave no stone unturned.

Put the main characters on the spotlight

When you’re novel is jam-packed with action with the main characters on top of the stage, don’t end the novel with a narration from a third-person point of view. Throwing the main characters to the side like that will leave the readers unsatisfied.

Focus on the emotions

No, it’s not about the characters’ emotions. They’re important too, but the ending should focus on the readers’ emotions. What do you want them to feel? Do you want to make them relieved, happy, sad, mad, or what?

Let’s say you’re writing a detective novel revolving around a murder. The case must be solved in the end, of course, but what happens next? Should you end it with the judge giving the murder a life sentence? Should it end with the murderer describing the backstory? Or should you give the victim’s family a chance for much-needed revenge? Put the readers’ emotions first when you need to choose from the possible endings.

Doesn’t make everyone happy

Trying to please everyone never works in real life. So what makes you think it will work when it comes to writing a novel ending? Readers will always have their own opinions, and that’s all right.

To draw an example let’s take Mockingjay into the spotlight. Many fans thought the ending was a mess and that Suzanne Collins didn’t spend enough time thinking the end through. Why did she kill Prim, the one reason why Katniss ended up joining the Hunger Games in the first place? What happened to Katniss after she came through? And why did Katniss marry Peeta, her fake lover, instead of Gale?

Of course, not all fans hated the ending. Some found it satisfying as both the politics and the love aspects are resolved. All the loose ends were practically tied. After all, not every story must have a happy ending and the heroes don’t always get what they wanted. Many real heroes lost more than they bargained for. That’s just the way the world works.

The thing is some readers want the novel they’re reading to end up just the way they wanted. When the plot twists didn’t push the story to their desired end, they complain. As a writer, you do have to keep readers’ expectations in mind, but if you should never sacrifice your own vision. Many top authors already have the ending vividly pictured in their minds when they wrote the first chapter. And you know what? They have every right to stick to their ideals.