Plot: Resolution, #Preptober Day 30

Yesterday we talked about how to reach your novel’s climax, so today we’re talking about resolution.

Preptober is almost over – we have just ONE DAY LEFT! – and so this is the perfect time to talk about how to end your novel.

It might sound simple, but it’s a little bit more complicated than just writing “THE END” after the last sentence you wrote. So, how can you crush your novel’s resolution?

First off, what the heck is a resolution, and does it have anything to do with New Year’s Day?

To answer your second question first, NO. But as for what resolution in a novel means, most folks define it as the “falling action” or conclusion or denouement. To properly resolve your novel, you need to hit your climax and then tie up all the loose ends (which is sort of ironic, since the word denouement actually means to untie in French – oh, those tricky Frenchmen!).

In my opinion, you don’t necessarily need to explain everything that just happened in a big ol’ Evil Villain Speech (as in most superhero tales and James Bond films, where the motive for the evil plan is explained right before the hero finally crushes the villain), but bringing together a bit of an answer to the question “What just happened here, and why?” is never a bad idea. Readers like to feel they understood the books they just read, so giving them a bit more insight or understanding about what happened in the previous scene is a good thing.

Also important to remember is that part of your resolution can also be the setup to another story – or even a whole new book. But we’ll talk more about that tomorrow!

For now, you’ll need to think about your climax and how this wraps up the action to your story. Or, if it doesn’t, how you can use that unresolved scene to kick off a new book without leaving your readers feeling disappointed by your first book’s ending.

Want to prep with me?

Share your Preptober story’s title, or tell us how your prep has been going so far in the comments. Or, post about your progress on your blog, and be sure to use the hashtag #Preptober when sharing on social media so we can find each other.

Don’t forget to grab a free copy of my Preptober Prompts Printable, which you can print out for personal use.

See you tomorrow with my final Preptober prompt!