So how do you get that polished last scene, evocative last paragraph, perfect last sentence? Through revision. The great Russian masters knew the importance of revision. Tolstoy rewrote Anna Karenina seventeen times (in longhand!). Vladimir Nabokov wrote, "I have rewritten—often several times—every word I have ever written. My pencils outlast their erasers."
Rewriting your ending is just as important as rewriting your beginning, and repays the effort just as strongly. A good beginning gains your reader's initial interest; a good ending makes your story linger in his memory after he closes the book or magazine.
More on revision in the next chapter.
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