Wrapping up your Novel – Talking about Resolution
Hey everyone, this week on the blog I thought I’d talk about resolution. On Saturday I wrote the ending scenes to my 4th Celtic era historical fiction novel! I have some scenes to finish in the middle of my novel before I can call this draft done, but I’m so excited to have gotten the end of my story written. This got me thinking about the resolution stage of a story and what this involves.
1. The resolution wraps up loose ends
The resolution occurs at the end of the novel, after the climax of the final conflict. Typically it’s a bit of breathing space for both the characters and the reader, to tie up loose threads and set up how the characters might continue after the novel ends. For example, in a romance, the resolution might see the detailing of the couple’s HEA (happy ever after). Or it might be the detective finally going home after solving a murder in a mystery. Usually any minor plot points/story threads are resolved here, unless of course you are deliberately leaving a cliffhanger to set up for the next book.
2. How have your characters changed?
The resolution also typically involves one or more of the characters reflecting on their journey so far. Your MC might think back to where they started at the beginning of the novel. Have their goals and desires changed? For example, did they start the novel in love with someone, then to no longer be in love with them by the end of the novel?
Discussing how your characters have changed through the course of the novel is an important part of resolution. Especially if it can be set up so the reader keeps going back to the characters and imagining their lies continuing after the novel ends.
3. How has their world changed?
If they’ve had a change in goals, how about a change in setting? Has their world dramatically changed, or are they in a new world altogether? For example they might be setting up a new home in a new country. If you’re writing historical fiction, the resolution might involve talking about the wider historical scene and setting the book up for the next historical events.
4. The resolution might depend on genre
The kind of genre you’re writing might mean particular expectations for you novel. For example, as already mentioned, romance will include a HEA. It might be your couple finally declared their love for one another in the climax of the novel. The resolution then might depict the couple together, for example showing them getting married or going on a first date, or telling other characters about their change in relationship.
If you’re writing a thriller, it might show the main characters finally having a breather and going back to their normal lives, or making new decisions in line with their goals now the conflict is over. What kind of genre is your novel? It might be worth exploring what particular expectations a genre has.
Thanks for reading!
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