I’ve written and critiqued a fair number of short stories in my time and one of the things that is notoriously difficult to get right is the ending. The ending has to be strong. It has to resonate with the reader and leave an echo that lingers with them long after they have finished reading, and it has to pull everything that has gone before into perspective. Very often it is the ending that really makes a short story work, or alternatively can let it down completely.
But the need for a strong ending applies equally to longer works of fiction, and this is where I’ve been struggling with my WIP. So far I’ve written three endings, but they all feel a bit weak.
The story ended on a note of high drama and it left me exhausted. For a while I left it as it was, but as I started to get feedback from my beta readers it has become clear that I need some sort of epilogue – a final scene to bring it all together and provide closure for my traumatised MC.
I talk about endings when I run my writing workshops for kids, and we discuss the different sorts of endings you can have. I ask them about what books they have read and what sorts of ending they like. Their answers always fascinate me. So I need to make this ending just as memorable, just as powerful. Other authors manage it. I can too.
And I think I have an idea ….