Moving on from that random bonus post yesterday... we reach our last Parts of the Novel installment for now. Good to see you again!
Today, we cover the last lines of novels, in contrast to the first post I did on first lines. Last lines aren't quite as pivotal as first lines when it comes to getting published, but they do matter because they are the last impression you leave with your reader. If you've got a really great last line, you're going to have them thinking for a while.
Last lines often relate to the title.as well A good last line has thematic meaning, which should be reflected in the book's title. Many last lines actually use the title as their final pronouncement. Others just reference the same idea.
So let's start with my favorite last lines from other people's works, and then I'll share some of mine with spoilers omitted. Keep in mind, my last lines may change!
Best Last Lines of Other Books
I lingered round them, under that benign sky; watched the moths fluttering among the heath, and hare-bells; listened to the soft wind breathing through the grass; and wondered how any one could ever imagine unquiet slumbers for the sleepers in that quiet earth.
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
I make a list in my head of every act of goodness I've seen someone do. It's like a game. Repetitive. Even a little tedious after more than twenty years. But there are much worse games to play.
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins, from The Hunger Games trilogy
So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
But that is the beginning of a new story--the story of the gradual renewal of a man, the story of his gradual regeneration, of his passing from one world into another, of his initiation into a new unknown life.
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
So sombre is it, and relieved only by one ever-glowing point of light gloomier than the shadow: on a black field, the red letter A.
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
The scar had not pained Harry for nineteen years. All was well.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling, from the Harry Potter series
He was soon borne away by the waves and lost in darkness and distance.
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Behind him, across vast distances of space and time, from the place he had left, he thought he heard music too. But perhaps it was only an echo.
The Giver by Lois Lowry, from The Giver Quartet
current Last Lines of My Novels
The new beginning had come, and with everyone she loved by her side, it was her time to rise and make a true difference. It was her destiny.
You never know where Time will take you.
Instead, they named him after the circumstances of his extraordinary birth. "Franz," they called him, or freedom.
The new heir of our world was coming.
Ms. Fwump’s enemy had returned.
The helicopter thundered overhead, and together, the four flew out of the hospital and into a reality more daunting than anything they’d ever dreamed before.
In that moment, there was only one thought in her mind, one name on her lips. "Quinn!"
In any case, after all they’d been through, nothing would surprise them. Nothing.
And right then, everything was right in the world.
There was a recording studio waiting for me.
It gleams, for just a moment, and I watch as the golden word appears briefly on the magical wall behind me, reflecting what the Sword sees inside of me. Merciful, it says.
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