I watched three TV finales this week. One was a series finale. I am still upset they’ve cancelled the show, but at least the finale was great. Though the characters were mainly supposed to reflect on the past, almost each moment that was displayed was a brand new scene. Otherwise, I would have been majorly ticked that they picked the LAST EPISODE to do a recap of everything. They also wrapped up two story lines that have been brewing for five years. Yeah for happy endings!
I enjoyed each finale. I got caught up in the story and found myself yelling at the screen at one point (in unison with the other person in the room, also saying the same thing). Now, I understand that the point of season finales is to make you watch the episode and also have you tune in at the beginning of the next season. I know it’s a rating stunt, and writers save their biggest punches for the crucial times when they need viewers.
Still, though, the stories flowed well. We were able to follow the characters from one set of problems to the next. I only had continuity issues at one point in the episode (character had bullet holes underneath an area protected by a bullet-proof vest).
Finales are supposed to make you watch, cheer, and leave you wanting more. Series finales are meant to wrap up everything you’ve been wondering about for the entire length of the show.
Why am I writing about TV shows? They know how to make you keep tuning in.
How do we, as book authors, take the awesomeness of a season finale and bottle it into our final pages? It varies by author and book, but we tend to use the same principles. For series writers, the endings are more of a prelude to the next book than a complete wrap. For stand alone books, we have to tie up everything and leave the reader smiling or weeping (again, depends on the author) by the end.
Is it a little sad to end a story? Absolutely. But it’s also a wonderful feeling. If you’ve done your job right, your readers will want more. Just like a season finale.
Book Update: Release date still tentative. Expect a new post in a few days if things go well.