Sunday, April 13, 2014

L is for tying up Loose Ends

When you get to the end of your novel make sure you have tied up all your loose ends. 

First decide whether your loose story lines are major or minor. What happened to a minor characters lost cat is probably not crucial. What he did with the stolen car probably is. 

If the loose end is a major part of the novel you WILL need to create a major scene to deal with it. Yes it may need a rewrite, but that is better than a reader being frustrated at the end of the book. 

With a minor loose end you may be able to filter the information in through your characters dialogue. 
'I see Mrs Patterson's found her cat.'

The real problem writers face is finding the loose ends! This is were a good beta reader is vital. I'm not strong at micro editing, I find it difficult to spot grammatical mistakes. Now when it comes to finding plot holes and loose ends, I'm a master. 

What I would advise is finding readers who are good at micro editing and good macro editors. I have yet to find someone excellent at both.

If you are an #atozchallenge blogger! thank you for popping by. You follow by pressing the blue button, there shouldn't be any emails. Please leave your link so I can follow back. Happy blogging.


  1. Editing, particularly self-editing is a severely underrated skill isn't it?

  2. I need to find some good beta readers. Tying up loose ends is definitely important.

    LittleCely from LittleCely's Blog

  3. My first "big" edit check will be timeline and "loose connections" that are neatly tied up or simply cut...probably more cutting than tying up. And it's always easier to find these in someone else's manuscript than in our own.

  4. I'm a episodic type of writer. I think of my manuscript as a movie or television series where all of the loose ends need to be tied up in 60 or 90 minutes, else people will start hating me online.

    Visiting from the A to Z Challenge at

  5. My brother-in-law is a fantastic beta for finding plot holes, the best one he ever found was in one of my sister's novels - she had a character walking around naked without it being noticed, because she'd forgotten to have them put any clothes on! ;P
    Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles - A to Z Ghosts
    Fantasy Boys XXX - A to Z Drabblerotic

  6. I like your blog. Very interesting. I should probably mention my cousin to start tying up those loose ends.

  7. Great advice! Thanks! And thanks for the follow!

  8. This is good advice; tying up loose ends is really important. There will always be readers for whom the lost cat is important; give them closure!
    I am, I think, very good at spotting grammatical mistakes in my writing; I suspect that I am terrible at finding loose ends, though. Thanks for making me think about this! Good post, and I will be back!
    Melanie Atherton Allen