I'm copying this and pasting it in front of every writing spot I ever put myself in.
From THE WRITER, April 1989
(and no, I have not been writing that long but I have been a fan of Lois Lowry's forever)
Knowing when to stop is one of the toughest tasks a writer faces.
Is there a rule that one can follow? Probably not. But there is, I think, a test against which the writer can measure his ending, his stopping place.
When something more is going to take place, but the characters have been so fully drawn, and the preceding events so carefully shaped that the reader, on reflection, knows what more will happen, and is satisfied by it, then the book ends.
Lois Lowry. Pure genius.
An earlier post about ENDINGS, with examples from my favorite books:
And a few thoughts about my own manuscript's ending words: