A post over on the Romantic Times message board got me thinking about endings. My all-time favorite book is THE OUTSIDER by Penelope Williamson. I love everything about that story, but it's the ending that most stands out. No spoilers here, but the last few chapters are both gut-wrenching and poetic.
Endings don't come easily to me as writer. I wander in circles until something clicks. I know the hero and heroine will end up together, and I know they'll have a crisis. It's getting the pieces to fit, in a way that's both surprising and inevitable, that I find challenging.
Talking out loud helps. Before my youngest son left for college, he'd brainstorm with me while we ran errands. His favorite question was, "So mom, who are you going to kill this time?" He thinks I have a murderous soul! I don't, it's just that the bad guy has to get it in the end.
Maybe that's the key to an ending that stretches beyond the story. It's about justice as much as it's about love.