Have you ever read a story that was well navigated all the way through . . . until you got to the ending? Like it was written by some space alien rather than the person whose name is on the cover? Or like there were fifteen alternate endings brainstormed by a group of people, and the author threw a dart to choose which one to use? Tough luck the dart should stick in the worst possible choice.
I really want to write the best ending ever written. I'm not there yet, but it doesn't stop me from wanting to make sure it's a zinger.
Satisfying is good. But satisfying isn't great unless it's also memorable. I figure memorable is pretty important for a couple of reasons.
First, there are hardly any endings I remember and that bothers me. The one I remember easily, I remember because it was supremely UNsatisfying. Not what I'm going for.
Second, I want my reader to be just as enthralled with my ending as they were with my beginning and middle. I want them to decide I'm an author worth reading again.
In any genre, but especially in suspense, the ending doesn't necessarily have to be happy. But it should make sense and not feel gimmicky or contrived.
Some suspense novelists leave loose ends in hopes (I suspect) that people will run out and buy their next book. I don't like that. There can be relationship questions, but don't leave me with an unfinished story. Even in a series, each book should be able to stand alone.
Here's hoping that when the time comes, I can hone an ending of memorable strength and satisfaction. I don't want it to go on for pages and pages, but neither do I want it to be a couple of sentences strung together that I HOPE people will forget.
What I'm reading: The Overlook by Michael Connelly.
It's all better with friends.