About a year and a half ago, when I was still new to online discussions, I inadvertently hurt someone’s feelings. We were discussing writing (what else) and she mentioned that she couldn’t imagine writing a mystery because it seemed so hard. In my arrogance, I said that a mystery is easy because you know when you come to the end. She took it to be an insult, when I meant it as a compliment. If you aren’t writing a mystery or a romance or some other genre where a certain ending is more or less expected, how do you know when you’ve come to the end of the book? It must be so much harder to write a book when there is no set place to end it. I always felt bad about the exchange, and because of it, I’ve always remembered the fatal comment.

So, this post is a way of expressing regret for a friendship cut short and to talk about endings, not just of friendships but of books. If you aren’t writing a book with an expected ending, how do you know when you’ve come to then end of your story?