How do you write a satisfying ending? It’s such an important question to ask as a writer. When writing endings, the story idea and characters are some of the most important aspects in landing a good ending.
Some writers try and do parallel endings where they have the story end in the same place it began to show how the characters and world have changed or not changed throughout the course of the story. Other writers tend to follow their story idea and characters to their logical conclusion. Where writers fall off of the path of their story and buff their endings is when they try and force their story idea and characters to the ending they want.
For this workshop, let’s use the word satisfaction to mean that you landed the emotions you wanted your readers to feel at the end of your story.
Workshop Exercise & Discussion
For the workshop this week, focus on story endings (and not so much chapter or scene endings). As a solo workshop, take notes on the resources shared below, and as a group workshop, discuss the resources shared below, how each of you sees endings, and what ways you write them. Feel free to share examples from your own works and others of endings that are pleasing or satisfying.
For the exercise, if you are doing this workshop solo, pick a story of yours and write 3–5 different endings. If you are doing it in a group, each writer should write 3-5 different endings to past or current stories. Then spend time sharing and discussing your new endings, going over what you learned from the exercise.
- Creative Penn Podcast for Writers- Unforgettable Endings with James Scott Bell The talk on endings is about 20 mins in and ends around 40 mins in.
- Charlie Jane Anders: The Ending is the Beginning
- Writing Excuses Podcast: Writing the End
- Jerry Jenkins: How to End a Story
- Finding Your Way to the End
- Chuck Wendig Endings Are Not Stoppings: On Game Of Thrones, And How We Conclude Our Stories(Game of Thrones spoilers)
Subscribe to At Home Pro Writers to noticeably improve your craft week after week.