Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Denouements: pacing the ending

I have always loved denouements, the sort of settling-down-and-wrapping-up phase that often (though not always) follows the climax of a story. I need that time, that space, to process what has just happened. I want to stay with the characters a little longer. A denouement is like that moment of silence following the end of a symphony when the echoes of the last note are still dying down, and the audience is not yet ready to break the spell with applause.

Janni Simner does a magnificent job of discussing the value of denouements. A sample: "No one wants a book to drag on too long, but it’s just as dangerous for a book to end too soon ..."


  1. The denouement is on of my favorite parts to write in my own work. I love how you likened it to the end of a symphony. So beautifully put.

    I also love how the word is pronounced. To me, it sound like its meaning.

    1. It is a fun word to say! One can even add a graceful gesture, like a sweeping arm movement, while saying it. :-)