(Note: As with the main Author Commentary series, this is a master post that functions as an index. Scroll down for the links to each individual post.)
I’m writing this in July 2022. The first book of my new series has been finished and sent off to my publisher, and I’ll be starting Book 2 soon, but right now I’ve got a little bit of free time, so I thought I’d write a collection of posts about how I ended the Alex Verus series.
This series will be divided into two halves. In the second half, I’ll talk about the two alternate endings I considered for the series, and why I rejected them. But before I can do that, I’ll have to explain what I was judging those endings on. Which brings us to the subject of . . .
Good Endings and Bad Endings
Everyone knows that a good ending to a story is important. But what makes an ending good?
The easy answer is to point to things that make for a good book in general – strong characters or good writing or a well-crafted plot – but those aren’t really features of an ending, they’re features of a book as a whole. When you say that a book has a good or bad ending, you’re generally talking about how well the ending works as an ending, and that’s mostly unrelated to the book’s overall quality. A book can be beautifully written and have compelling characters but still end in a totally unsatisfying way. Which brings us back to the first question: what makes an ending good?
This isn’t a subject I see people talk about very much, but it’s one I’m interested in, and it’s something I’ve worked out my own ideas about. In my opinion, there are two things that make an ending good or bad: consistency, and theme.
I’ll talk about these two things in the next two posts in the series. After that, I’ll jump into the alternate endings.
- On The Subject Of Endings (this post)
- Consistency: How Well The Pieces Fit
- Theme: The Message You Send
- Alex Verus Alternate Ending 1: Total Victory
- Why I Didn’t Choose the “Total Victory” Ending
- Alex Verus Alternate Ending 2: Bad Things Happen
- Why I Didn’t Choose the “Bad Things Happen” Ending