Let’s Talk about Endings.
Do you have an idea the ending before you start writing?
Are you a total pantser, allowing the characters to take you on their journey and realize the ending when you get there?
My brain does not work in pantser mode, I’ve discovered, after a workshop with Kathleen Baldwin, who explained the difference. I work with numbers and deadlines at the day job, and for the time I have at the keyboard writing, I like structure. My characters are well defined and I have a general idea of the ending; then I can begin writing.
The final scene is the big yellow ribbon on your plot. It ties up the story in a satisfactory way for your readers and answers all of their questions. Make it big, make it bold, play that last climactic scene for all its worth. This is your ultimate test, proof that the main character is worth their time and worth saving.
In bad fiction the ending may seem forced. The plot and characters have been manipulated. As a reader it is unsatisfying, maybe a bit annoying. In good fiction, plot and characters meld together and the climactic ending seem inevitable.