My novel has been through multiple drafts and beta reads, and by and large is in good shape. I've learned how to cure a saggy middle, how to stay in point-of-view, how to keep the protagonist driving the action by working toward their want. And so on. The shape of my novel is generally OK, but by the time I reach the end (climax), I'm simply ready for all the ends to be tied up.
So they are, all the contracts are filled, and by and large the ending does what it needs to. It solves the puzzle, neatly and tidily.
But the ending still feels off to me and I can't put my finger on why. Perhaps it is too precipitous of a solution, or too little cost after the solution. The ending 'works,' but I'm wondering if there's something I'm missing.
Example: Maybe the best endings throw one last small but unexpected challenge at the heroes, out of the blue. (Like Darth Vader joining the air fight in SW:ANH, maybe some ratchet up of stakes during the climax needs to happen). Or perhaps one of our heroes should die during the ending, maybe it is an emotional note that's missing.
Q: I'm wondering if there's consensus on what makes a great ending. What are the features. I haven't seen anything online about this, and thought you insightful contributors might have thoughts.