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When "The End" Should Be The End by Nicole Nadeau

I would like to welcome back guest writer, Nicole Nadeau. Enjoy!


All was well. God bless us, everyone. And they lived happily ever after. It’s one thing to know when to end your book, but another to know when to end your overarching story. Authors often wonder whether they should write a sequel or let their book be standalone. Or, on the other hand, they continue writing series after series revolving around the same characters because they don’t want it to end. But the ending needs to come. Otherwise, the story goes stale and tired.

It’s the author’s job to know when to end the story. But there are dangers with stopping it too early or too late.

Let’s look at the side of ending too early. Your story won’t have a satisfying ending. You’ll have plot lines and characters arcs left unfinished. Your readers will be upset by the sudden stop, knowing that they’ll never see any kind of resolution to the conflict.

Think about The Hunger Games series. Imagine that Suzanne Collins decided to stop after Catching Fire. Peeta would still be a prisoner, Snow would never fall, and we would never know Katniss’ ultimate fate. We would all be throwing the book against the wall out of frustration. Because we never got a satisfying ending.

Ending your story too early is an obvious danger but stopping it too late is just as bad.

Think of your plot and your main character’s goal. Are they trying to fall in love and get married? Are they trying to finish an epic quest? Or do they have to defeat the antagonist before they can finally settle down? Whatever it is, that goal is a good point to wrap up your story. Otherwise, it will continue aimlessly and without any real purpose.

If Tolkien hadn’t ended Lord of the Ringswhen he did, it would’ve become boring very fast. The Ring is destroyed, and Sauron is finally defeated. Now what? The story would follow their normal, daily lives which aren’t very exciting. Not many people want to read about a hobbit doing their laundry. By ending it when he did, Tolkien made sure his story didn’t become boring and uninteresting. Readers may have wanted more, but Tolkien knew there wasn’t any more story to tell.

Then you have the Percy Jackson books. Rick Riordan has written series after series after series with the same characters, adding some new faces along the way. But the books still engage readers as much as the first book did. Because Riordan keeps having more stories to tell, more action waiting right around the corner.

There is no right length for a story. Only you know when to stop it. So, think about where it could naturally end. When is the goal achieved? Where does the action stop? That would be a good stopping point.

It’s your responsibility as the author to give your story a satisfying ending. Without suddenly pulling the plug or letting it drag on and flatline.



Nicole Nadeau grew up in Springboro, Ohio, with her older sister, Paige, and younger brother, Mark. While she has Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), she doesn’t let that stop her and is busy planning the next book in the Secret Life of Anna Goode series.

Death By Midnight: The Secret Life of Anna Goode can be purchased on Amazon



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