|Denouement can involve untangling and weaving|
(photo by DodgertonSkillhause from morguefile.com)
I'm in currently in the midst of drafting the final chapter of my WIP, that this, the denouement section. I have the scenes roughed out, but my concern is how to handle weaving the threads without the chapter feeling like a series of info. dumps.
I realize that by nature, denouements have an info-dump-ish quality built in. Here are some of the ways the term is defined:
The final part of a play, film, or narrative in which the strands of the plot are drawn together and matters are explained or resolved.
Brian Klems at The Writer's Dig
The denouement is the final outcome of the story, generally occurring after the climax of the plot. Often it’s where all the secrets (if there are any) are revealed and loose ends are tied up.
Merriam-Webster Word Central (the online kids' dictionary)
the final solution or untangling of the conflicts or difficulties that make up the plot of a literary work
The word's etymology is from the French, meaning "the untying." That term makes me think especially of mysteries, when the sleuth reveals how all the various plot elements you'd just read actually worked together, and s/he clears away all the false assumptions and red herrings to reveal just "whodunit" or perhaps, why the terrible crime happened. In many of the classic texts, like those of Agatha Christie, the sleuth monologues for pages, with occasional interruptions from his/her captive audience.
My fear is that some of these scenes could end up feeling like that. At the moment, I don't have tips, just questions for you:
How do you avoid info dumps in your final scenes? What books model well how to bring multiple threads to a satisfying conclusion without dragging or feeling too tell-heavy?