The first sentence
(the 2nd most important sentence in your book)
gets the reader to buy & read your book.
The last sentence makes them glad
Take the BEN HUR remake.
Everyone, even the ones who enjoyed the first of the film, were turned off by the ending.
What a great last line will do:
1.) Refers back to a theme that runs throughout the book. Double bonus points if it mirrors the first line.
2.) Breathes a spirit of victory (even in defeat) or hope.
3.) Reveals the purpose of the novel and/or meaning of the title.
A good last line will give finality,
yet with a sense of continuing into another story that those who survived the novel will continue living their lives.
GREAT LAST LINES:
"So that, in the end, there was no end."
- Patrick White, The Tree of Man (1955)
"But wherever they go, and whatever happens to them on the way, in that enchanted place on top of the Forest, a little boy and his Bear will always be playing."
- A.A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner (1928)
"He waited for someone to tell him who to be next."
- Brian Evenson, The Open Curtain (2006)
"But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive:
for the growing good of the wortld is partly dependent on unhistoric acts;
and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been
is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs."
- George Elliot, Middlemarch (1871-72)
"He was soon borne away by the waves and lost in darkness and distance."
- Mary Shelly, Frankenstein (1818)
"It was the nightmare of real things, the fallen wonder of the world."
- Don DeLillo, The Names (1982)
"So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."
- F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby (1925)
"Everything had gone right with me since he died, but how I wished there existed someone to whom I could say that I was sorry."
- Graham Greene, The Quiet American (1956)
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE LAST LINES?