Your ending is your reader's reward for reading your story.
Your ending will make or break your story. A great ending will leave the reader feeling satisfied. A bad one will make the reader feel cheated.
I always decide what my ending will be before I start writing a story. I need to have a destination in mind, or I get lost along the way.
Your ending should answer your main story question.
If you're stuck for an ending, ask yourself: What does your character want more than anything? How do they go about trying to get it? Do they succeed?
For example, in Harry Potter, Harry wants a family more than anything. It starts with him suffering with the horrible Dursleys, and the series finally ends with Harry getting a family of his own.
Exercises1. Take the story beginnings from the Beginnings section. Pretend you're the author of these stories, and write a sentence or two that might be a good ending for the story.
2. Take the story beginning you wrote, and write a paragraph that might make a good ending.
Advanced ExerciseTake one of the following endings. Write for ten minutes, finishing your story with the sentence you have chosen.
1. I hope I never see him again.
2. She still doesn't know it was me who did it, and I'll never tell.
3. The baby was okay, and that's all that mattered.
4. I had decided which one I wanted to kill first.
5. I watched it burn to the ground.
Just like a good story opening, each of these endings contains at least one character (the narrator) and the resolution of a problem. Who the character is and what problem is being resolved by this ending is up to you to decide.