A couple weeks ago, we wrote a blog about writing engaging opening lines for your book, so let’s bring it full circle and discuss the ending lines as well. The last lines of your book should be thought-provoking and should stick with the reader after they close the book. Here are some great last lines from famous books.
“He loved Big Brother.” –George Orwell, 1984
“It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.” –Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
“We sat there for a long time, till the crowd around us thinned, till the sun shifted and the light changed. Till we felt our eyes could meet again, without the tears.” –Tatiana de Rosnay, Sarah’s Key
“A LAST NOTE FROM YOUR NARRATOR. I am haunted by humans.” –Markus Zusak, The Book Thief
“But now I must sleep.” –Ian McEwan, Atonement
“He was soon borne away by the waves and lost in darkness and distance.” –Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
“Light falls through the window, falls onto me, into me. Moments. All gathering towards this one.” –Jenny Downham, Before I Die
“He turned away to give them time to pull themselves together; and waited, allowing his eyes to rest on the trim cruiser in the distance.” –William Golding, Lord of the Flies
As you can see, not all endings have to be bad. They tie the story together and leave the reader with a sense of satisfaction that the wonderful book they read had an ending to match. The reader may be sad when they are done reading your book, but hopefully that is because they didn’t want it to end at all.
Now that you have inspiration for the beginning and ending of your book, you just need to work on the middle!