Write Your Novel Step by Step (110)
Write Your Novel Step by Step (Home Page)

Write Your Novel
Step by Step


By Melanie Anne Phillips
Creator of StoryWeaver

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~ Step 110 ~



Dismissals


Over the course of the story, your readers have come to know your characters and to feel for them; they are emotionally invested in them.  Every attribute, every relationship – structural, situational and emotional, needs to be dismissed to satisfy your readers and illustrate the final disposition of those they have come to care about.


In addition, the reader needs a little time to say goodbye - to let the each character walk off into the sunset or to mourn for them before the novel ends.


This is the conclusion, the wrap-up or denouement.  After everything has happened to your characters, after the final showdowns with their respective demons, what are they like?  How have they changed?


If a character began the story as a skeptic, does it now have faith?  If they began the story full of hatred for a mother that abandoned them, have they now discovered revelations to the effect that she was forced to do this, and now they no longer hate?


These are the kinds of things you need to tell your readers: how your characters’ journeys changed them, whether they resolved their problems, and so on.


And in the end, it is character dismissals that constitute a large part of your story's message.  It is not enough to know if a story ends in success or failure, but also if the characters are better off emotionally or plagued with even greater demons, regardless of whether or not the goal was achieved.


You can show what happens to your characters directly or through a conversation by others about them or even in a post-script on each after the story is over as a series of fictional newspaper clippings.


How you do this is limited only by your creative inventiveness, but make sure you review each character and each relationship and provide at least a minimal dismissal for each.


For this step, develop and describe the ultimate disposition of each character and every relationship.