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Joe with an E - the ending

Dear friends,

Yesterday there was some discussion, based on my draft synopsis, about whether my book had enough of an ending for a debut novel, or whether it ended on too much of a cliffhanger. I am intending it to be the first part of a trilogy and the agent I spoke to in my Jericho Festival one-to-one did say that I should mention that in any submission.

I believe that my ending provides an appropriate level of resolution - Joe makes it to France and in my epilogue, it is clear that help will hopefully be on its way to his friends back on the island. But there are inevitably some loose ends - not least what will happen to his two closest friends and travelling companions, Nats and Cain. But even there, there is hope.

Anyway, I would really value your opinions, so I am putting myself under the knife once again, attaching my final two chapters and epilogue (only 3000 words in total).

Accepting that apart from this, at most you've only seen my first three chapters and my synopsis, could you give me your opinions on whether this ending has enough resolution for a debut novel which is intended to be the first in a trilogy?

Two other brief comments: (1) you might notice that my final chapter (not counting the epilogue) begins and ends with the same words as my very first chapter, when Joe first arrives at the island. (2) My epilogue is an epilogue and not a final chapter because it uses new voices. The British Assembly in France has not been mentioned until this point, so Stokes is a 'new character'. I've not written anything from Nats' POV until this point, but she will be my MC in book 2. Sergeant Stephenson is a known character, but nothing has been written from their POV, until now. Similarly, Eva and Charlie are known characters from the island.

Thank you once again. 


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Replies (4)
  • For those who would like a couple more chapters to go on, here are chapters 57 and 58 to give you just a little more context for my ending. But please don't feel that I'm expecting you to read these as well. Only if you want to and have time.

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    • Hi Paul - I've had a skim read through the closing chapter. I imagine the resolution you need to make clear in the synopsis is that Joe is reconciled with his family (or part of it) before making good his escape to France.

      Interesting that it seems Britain is under quarantine and generally thought to now be uninhabited. It's isolation from the rest of the world isn't something that comes out in the synopsis.

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      • Thanks Kate, that's helpful. On the subject of the synopsis, do you think it should cover the key points of the plot in chronological order or in the order they are written in the book?

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        • I think simplest is often best. Chronological would seem simplest, but it might not turn out to be right for your story synopsis. I thing you just have to try it and see.

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