Ten Tenets of Novel Writing: Conclusion

A series looking at the ten different principles that go into writing a good book. This essay discusses conclusions.

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Follows: Originality

In every novel there are multiple aspects that the writer must get right and, with those, plenty of places to make mistakes. In this series I’m going to be looking at these different parts. This essay is going to be looking at my tenth and final tenet: conclusion.

It’s fitting that the conclusion of this series would be discussing the conclusions of your stories. It’s almost as if I planned it. A story needs a conclusion. And that’s different than an ending. Anybody can end a story, you just stop writing it. A conclusion is you wrapping up the things that were set up and explored in the story. Most of them anyway, you don’t have to wrap everything up; life rarely has everything wrapped up in a nice little bow at the end of it. This is especially true in a series of novels, as well, like the Hunger Games. The first books concludes the first book’s story quite nicely but it leaves enough left unresolved for the rest of the series to explore.

American Gods concludes its story, the story of the gods and Shadow isn’t over but the plot of the book, the core story, is concluded. The same goes for Murder on the Orient Express, Interview with a Vampire and The Shining. The stories that are being told are concluded, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the character’s stories are over just the ones being told.

Without the conclusion, you’ll find that the story lacks any impact at the end and is, generally, unsatisfying. You need to conclude your story, not end it.


And those are my ten tenants for writing novels. There is a lot that goes into writing a good book and there is a big difference between a good book and a bad one. Having said that, at their core the fundamentals aren’t that complicated, it just takes a bit of time and practice to get them right. I hope that this series has helped you in that journey of understanding, and good luck in your novel writing adventures!

David Chitty was born and raised in Thanet in the 90s. He devotes most of his energies to writing fantasy fiction novels.

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