This week we are talking about endings and how to do them well. Hopefully you've found some that you want to share with us this week. I think the best way to do it is for you to email me the title of the book and why the ending worked for you. Don't worry about spoilers too much, be honest and detailed with what worked for you. (email@example.com with Endings in the subject line)
Today I want to talk about what NOT to do. Please don't stone me when I'm done.
He wrote 100 more pages of story after the climax of The Return of the King.
Stay with me a minute. The ring is destroyed on page 250 of my paperback copy. Sam and Frodo are reunited with all their friends on page 255. Said friends have just finished a mighty battle a page before that sees the orcs running away.
At this point, all the tension has been released. There is nothing else for us to worry about. Not really. However Tolkien spends another 92 pages getting our heroes back home, cleaning up said home from the riff raff that's taken over, and then getting the elves, Bilbo, and Frodo on the boats to the west.
Now, I LOVE Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings, but as a writer today, I don't have the luxury of spending 90 some odd pages to tie up all the threads and bring the story to a complete end. I wish I could. It's in my head, but the reader gets bored once the conflict is over. I admit I got a little bored after the war was over myself.
The moral here is:
If you are J.R.R. Tolkien, you can do whatever you want.
But you are NOT Tolkien.
And neither am I.
Normal folks like us would need to end the story by page 260.
Thoughts? Am I completely off my rocker?