Last Lines

hunters-salvation.jpgI got an email late Thursday from my editor.  She’d just finished the read thru on Hunter’s Salvation.  She was happy with it.  I always worry about that.  Half of my stuff, okay, most of my stuff, I think sucks.  I’m rarely satisfied with them so I don’t expect others to be.  But that’s just one of my paranoias and has nothing to do with my post.

She was satisfied with it, but she wanted to know if I could maybe add this to the last chapter and expand on that in the last chapter.  Yep. I can do that.  😉   I ended up rewriting most of the last chapter before I was satisfied.  One thing I kept was the closing line, though.  I had to juggle this and reaarange that and thrown the other part out altogether, but I made it work because I really wanted to keep that very last line the same.  I got it turned back in by Friday and she was very happy with the changes, so I’ll sleep a little better.  Maybe.

But in the middle of the rewrite, going from (I think) a twelve page chapter to a twenty something page chapter, I did my normal blog hopping on Fridays.  Fridays, I don’t always hit too many blogs.  I glance at RTB, I look at Sybil‘s, I check the vamps and scamps, sometimes I drop by Jaci’s but most of the blogs I lurk on.  The one blog I read faithfully pretty much every day is PBW.  I’ll shamelessly admit I’m a PBW junkie and have been for a while.

PBW had a question on her Friday 20 about wrapping a book up.  Since I spent most of Friday re-wrapping a book, so to speak, that one got me to thinking.  Wrapping up a book can be tricky.  Sometimes, the book is flowing so well, I get to that last chapter and think, excellent, almost done… and then whap.  I freeze.  The last few pages just won’t come.  Or I’ll be struggling along with a book, dreading the ending and whaddya know… that last chapter was the easiest part.

She recommended mirroring something that had happened earlier in the book. I’ve done that.  Tying up some small, almost insignificant detail…yep, I’ve done that.  Unconsciously, though.  Those endings are the ones that come when I least expect it.  When I’ve been fighting the characters almost the entire story.  It’s almost like a present when the ending comes that easy.  Which I guess is why I was determined to keep that last line in Hunter’s Salvation.  I fought with that bastard, I mean the hero throughout the entire book and when I finally wrote that very last line, I heaved a major sigh of relief. 

A lot of people I know will read the first line of a book before they decide to buy.  That makes that first line soooo important.  But after fighting with last lines as much as I have, I know the last line(or lines) is just as important.

Some of my favorite lines:a-wish-a-kiss-a-dream-50.jpg

From Djinn’s Wish (one of mine) Kat had gotten her wish.  But, somehow,  the Djinn had, too.

From Ceremony in Death by JD Robb

(Eve)  “The least I can do after standing you up tonight is make you feel manly.”

(Roarke) “The very least,” he agreed.

From Surviving Demon Island by Jaci Burton If she could that, she could do anything. Bring on the demons.

And one of my absolute faves, From Seven Up by Janet Evanovich

Ranger removed his gunbelt and dropped it on the floor.  “DeChooch is fine, but we have unfinished business.”

Yep, a good closing line (or lines) is a gift. If it’s a series, it should leave the reader practically dying for the next book.  A good last line should leave the reader smiling (well, if it’s a romance…ideally, a smile works for me no matter what the genre, though)  and feeling satisfied with the book.