Today is a big day, my friend. It’s time to write our way out.
One wants to resolve things, after all. One feels a deeply human need to conclude. After the falling action, there is often something more. Something unexpected.
A good ending is layered. The reader thinks she has discovered everything she can possibly discover about a story, but then: another image appears, another paragraph hums along, another question begs to be answered. One is left with the feeling of having walked out of the dark theatre into the light, only to realize there was something else playing after the credits, some secret part of the film, some final moment. You can hear it through the door, vaguely, but you can’t get back in. You’re not sure what you’ve missed, but you’re certain that you’ve missed something, that the reel kept on playing, the story kept on going, after your departure. You were only an observer, a brief malingerer, there but not there. The lives within the story carry on.
Today, write a final chapter, one that answers some, but not all, of the questions. Your job: satisfy the reader, without tying everything up too neatly. Within this chapter, write at least two paragraphs in which the protagonist has an epiphany: a moment when he understands what all of this means, when he understands the effect of his actions on himself and those around him.