This is part one of an ongoing series of posts on elements that make endings work. The intro is here.

2. A Gathering Of Forces

An ending is a culmination. At its most ethereal, this could mean the various emotional motifs through the book gather to explode and reveal some revelation. Generally though, it’s the literal accumulation of different physical forces involved in the story. The clearest example is the final showdowns in the Lord Of The Rings books, particularly The Hobbit and The Return Of The King, both of which end with epic battles that feature wave after wave of guest appearances by creature armies from throughout the story.

Imbedded in this gathering is the rising tension. Something important and out of the ordinary is happening, just by virtue of everyone finally being in the same room after being dispersed more evenly earlier on. The weight of importance is built in.