Several years ago, I read a book that truly captured my interest. It was well written, had interesting characters, and a really wonderful plot. The descriptions were so clear and precise that to this day I can still see many of the scenes and the movement of the book’s characters. It was great, until I got to the last couple of chapters when I was totally caught off guard by a convenient ending. You know what I'm talking about. The kind of ending that just says, "Here, yes, I did it and here’s how I did it and why. End of story."
That ending was so disappointing that it has remained in the back of my mind ever since. Now, as I near the final chapters of my WIP, I thought about it again and decided it was time to evaluate how I was going to end this book.
The idea stemmed from a minor character I introduced in an early chapter. I really enjoyed writing that scene because he was so vile and disgusting. However, I know that everything that is in a book, must have a purpose and up until today, this guy didn’t have one except to be obnoxious.
I decided it was time I bring him back into the plot, the question was, what role was he going to play and what was going to be his motivation? When I put myself in this situation the first thing I do is write a back story that answers the following: What makes this character tick? What’s happened in his past that brought him to this place and time? Who does he know? Who influenced him and why? What drives his actions?
After writing several pages, I developed an alternative plot twist. Granted it’ll require changing at least three or four of the chapters plus the motivation of one of the other characters. Still, I think the results will be worth the trouble. All I have to do is to take a day or so to let it roll around in my head.