Sealed with a Kiss: The End

Thorne Moore

I often have difficulty knowing how to start a book, even when I have the whole story clear in my mind. But it can be even more difficult knowing when to stop.

Don’t spoil the impact of the natural ending by drifting on into slow sludge. Sorry, Shakespeare, but you should really have stopped when Hamlet dies. Good night, sweet prince,. and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest. Having Fortinbras blunder in to wrap things up was a big mistake.

The Handmaid’s Tale is a brilliant example of a story that ends with questions unanswered. What happens next to Offred? Is she sent off to her doom or to salvation. But Margaret Atwood couldn’t resist adding an epilogue, exploring further. And then she had to write another book because readers kept asking what happened.

I was delighted, when I first read The Lord of the Rings as a…

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