5 Ways to End a Story

Hi everyone, I hope you’re all well! Today I’m going to talk about some of the ways you can bring your story to a satisfying conclusion.

There are lots of ways to end a story and it’s important to think about your ending a little bit before you write it, so that you don’t just end up with something that feels ‘tacked on’. You want something that fits and feels like a logical conclusion, but most importantly, your ending should feel satisfying. The last thing you want to do as a writer is to leave your reader disappointed or frustrated.

Choosing the type of ending you want will largely depend on the kind of story you’re telling – for example, if you’re writing a tragedy,  then you’ll want an ending that leaves your reader feeling a sense of sadness, whereas if you’re writing a romance, you’ll want more of a happier, uplifting ending where the protagonist ends up with the object of their affections.

So with all that in mind, here are 5 Ways to End a Story.

1 The Happy Ending
The happily ever after consists mainly of giving your characters exactly what they want; if your protagonist has a particular goal at the beginning of the story (and they should), then in order to resolve the story happily – and more importantly, satisfactorily – you must have them achieve it.

This type of ending is probably the most common type, especially in children’s literature. After all, you wouldn’t want to leave younger readers with feelings of sadness or any unresolved emotions towards the characters they’ve become so invested in.

2 The Ambiguous Ending
An ambiguous ending is one in which the conclusion is unclear. The reader can decide for themselves what happens at the conclusion of the story. The author may have left the story unfinished, on a cliffhanger, or perhaps with a character or two left with a decision to make. For example, a character comes to a fork in the road and, unbeknown to him, one leads to happiness and the other to certain doom. The reader will make up their own minds about which road the character will take.

3 The Sad/Tragic Ending
Stories that have a sad or tragic ending need to end on an emotional note evoking feelings in the reader. So, for example, if the main character dies in the end, the reader should feel a sense of loss for them. Even if the story doesn’t en with a death, but rather with a set of tragic circumstances, such as the main character falling on hard times, the reader should feel it in some way.

4 The Hopeful Ending
Hopeful endings are endings in which, although all may have seemed lost for the characters in the lead up to the conclusion of the story, there is still some wiggle room left for the possibility of a good outcome. For instance, if you write a story about an asteroid hitting the earth, threatening the existence of the human race, you could craft a hopeful ending by letting a few characters survive the disaster. In doing so, you can lead the reader to believe that a main character, or at the very least, the rest of the human race would continue on, thus creating a hopeful ending.

5 The Resolved Ending
A resolved end to a story is pretty much self-explanatory. All plots and character arcs are complete, and there is nowhere left for the story to go. This is probably the most satisfying way for a reader to finish a story. There is no room for conjecture or debate as to where the characters have ended up. Everything is all tied up nicely in a big bow. The story is finished; there is no tale left to tell.

I hope you found this little bit of information useful! Please, click around for more writing tips, poems and stories, and, as always, thanks for spending your valuable time with me today, I really do appreciate it.

Until next time,


© 2021 GLT

Categories: Writing Tips

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1 reply


  1. 5 More Ways to End a Story – GEORGE L THOMAS

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