Advice From The Archives: How to Make the Most of Your Happy-Ever-After!

This week, we’ve uncovered a gem from the UK’s 2011 writing competition, New Voices, on how to ensure you end your romance on a high – we hope you enjoy these timeless pearls of wisdom!

So we’ve shown you how to start and how to tackle writing your first chapter, but the big question that we’re sure is on everyone’s lips is– how do you write a powerful ending that stays with your readers for a long time?

Well, never fear, here are our five sneaky tips to achieving those happily-ever-afters to last a life time:

  • Be Creative  We know that its hard to avoid happily ever after clichés and there’s certainly nothing wrong with a fairytale wedding or a baby bump but think of what new twist or spin you can put on these tropes. For example maybe your hero and heroine get their happy family by adopting or may be your heroine is the one who proposes!
  • Your ending should belong to your characters – Make sure that it grows organically out of who your characters are. As you write keep asking yourself what the characters want most in the world, why they want it, and what’s stopping them from achieving it. These questions should help with all aspects of the plot and in turn lead you towards the right ending for your story.
  •  No shock twists for the sake of it!  – When talking about how to end a murder mystery, classic crime author Raymond Chandler said, “The solution, once revealed, must seem to have been inevitable.”  The same can be said for romance. Even though you want to surprise your readers, plant the seeds of your ending early, so that when people re-read your fab story they will be able to see that, of course, although fresh and original, this was the ending these characters were always heading towards.
  • Tie up all loose ends Make sure you keep track of even the smallest sub-plot aspect, and that you resolve them. For example you can’t have a secondary character go for a walk around the ground of your hero’s stately home and never come back!
  • Resolve the central conflict – Most importantly your hero and heroine must face up to and overcome their internal conflicts by the time you reach the climax of the story. A damaged hero who still hasn’t learnt how to let the heroine into his guarded heart by the final page will have readers throwing your book at the wall. Characters need to learn and grow over the course of the story, so only once your hero and heroine have both done this, are you ready to type those immortal words…THE END!

We hope you find these tips helpful and as ever, let us know what you think below the line!