Guest Writers / Tips

Give readers their ‘sunset’ ending? Or leave them wanting more?


Readers often crave a sense-making conclusion when it comes to their chapter books, TV shows and movies. But when surprised with an ending that does not suffice, we are left with disappointment.

(Flickr: Moyan Brenn)

(Flickr: Moyan Brenn)

We want more.

It’s agonizing to have a vague, unclear or even cut-off-too-soon idea of your favorite characters’ fate. And yet, authors sometimes leave us hungry.

Perhaps, it is simply because there is no “after” when the story ends. Maybe the material was intended to be food for thought and utterly provocative. And in that, there is beauty — anything that propels the human brain into a spiral of questioning and reasoning is a good thing.

No doubt — an ending should leave an impression. But it’s not always so easy to end a story and leave behind yet another creation of the writing mind. There are some techniques every writer should consider for creating stronger endings and leaving a greater impact on the reader.

1. Always stay true to your characters’ actions. Really think about what they would do at the end of their journey. How would they respond to enigma? Put yourself in their shoes and realize that now you have created a written soul that is alive; it’s your job to lay the setting to rest with ease and a kiss.

2. Produce an ending where meaning can be extracted. Get inside the reader’s head and propel him into a spiral of intellectual feeling. Write the story so that it tumbles into meaning just by reading that last paragraph.

3. Shut the door to your story. Write effectively and be thorough when explaining the resolution. Leave no question unanswered. Create a situation that won’t fail to be understood by the reader.

4. Perhaps write an ending that portrays that a sequel is in the future. Be ambitious! Writing and making your story live on could be a fulfilling experience for you and your reader.

5. Return your reader to the beginning of the story. Give your audience that “ah-ha” moment. It’s thrilling to finally have collected all the missing pieces to the puzzles that lay in plots. People want to figure out what the writers mean.

Of course, there is no sure way to always have perfection in a conclusion every single time. But, a writer can always try because endings are more important for the lasting impressions they leave.  

Catalina Gonzalez is a new and welcome contributor to


Catalina Gonzalez

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