It feels great to be done. (With this part. There's still a lot of work to do, but the hardest and most tedious part is over.) What doesn't feel great, however, is my last line. I'm pretty sure it's the worst last line I've ever written. Maybe the worst last line ever written, period. Here it is:
I bet I can renegotiate the streamers later.
Seriously, isn't that awful? My mom insists that it's wonderful--she even laughed out loud, which she almost never does when I'm trying to explain writing-related stuff over the phone. But I'm pretty sure it's full of suckage. It kind of makes sense in context, but I will rewrite it later, I promise.
The sucky last line, however, got me thinking about other last lines in literature. Lots of attention gets paid to the first lines of books, but what about the very last? Aren't they just as important, maybe more so since that's the last impression the book makes on a reader? So, let's compare my sucky last line to some others.
It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.
~ A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
That is one of the greatest. It makes my cry just to think these words. I used this in college in my Performance of Literature final. (Which was a way cool project, btw, and I may share the text of it here someday.)
Darcy, as well as Elizabeth, really loved them; and they were both ever sensible of the warmest gratitude towards the persons who, by bringing her into Derbyshire, had been the means of uniting them.
~ Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
This is my favorite book of all-time, but I find myself kind of disappointed by the last line. It's kind of long-winded and not so much about looking into the future of Lizzie and Darcy as it is about smiling back on the events of the past. But, in the context of the story as a whole, and taking the author's style into account, it is perhaps a fitting end for the book.
Okay, here are some more. See if you can guess the literary work in question. (Answers at the bottom of the post.)
1. Give me your hands, if we be friends, And Robin shall restore amends.
2. He was soon borne away by the waves and lost in darkness and distance.
3. Truly, would you not for less than that make the tour around the world?
4. I'm so glad to be at home again!
5. Alice got up and ran off, thinking while she ran, as well she might, what a wonderful dream it had been.
6. And he was feeling not-unique in the very best possible way.
7. At the end of the rainbow in Cyd Charisse's Land of All Things Ginger, there will be a Shrimp.
8. "Happy endings are all I can do," she whispered. "I wouldn't know how to write anything else."
9. Thank you, Michael, for letting my son love her first.
So, what do you think? Do last lines measure up to first? Are they just as important? Does my sucky last line suck more than any others?
1. A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare
2. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
3. Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne
4. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
5. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
6. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
7. Gingerbread by Rachel Cohn
8. Romancing Mr. Bridgerton by Julia Quinn
9. When He Was Wicken by Julia Quinn