Everything comes to an end...including fictions. But is it always a good end? Story endings are hard to write - often much harder than beginnings.

I've experienced it with the last chapters of my first multichapter story, De Immortalitate (it's now complete!). My prereader, Camilla, got eleven (yep, eleven) different drafts of the 22th chapter, and to write the last one I needed a lot of help from all my (wonderful) betas and prereaders. A discussion with one of my favorite authors, Savage7289, provided great inspiration, too. On the contrary, I wrote the Epilogue when I was still drafting the first chapters of the story.

Here are some articles to help you to write an effective ending for your story.

Finding an Ending for a Story, by Doug Lipman, explains the difference between knowing and showing:
Finding a satisfying ending for a story involves twin processes that are important at all stages of story creation:
  1. The first process is what I call "knowing," or identifying the main thrust or transformation in the story.
  2. The second process is "showing": conveying meaning through concrete actions and images. 
Write a Story Ending That Will Satisfy Readers, by Marg McAlister, describes different endings, with their pros and cons (I usually prefer the one that leaves open questions, although I understand that many readers want their HEA at all costs).

According to Plot Development: Climax, Resolution, and Your Main Character, by Glen C. Strathy, based on two choices – outcome and judgment, the four possible endings of any novel plot are as follows.
  1. Comedy (happy ending): the protagonist achieves the goal or solves the problem, and his success turns out to be a good thing.
  2. Tragedy: the protagonist fails to achieve the goal, and his failure is a bad thing.
  3. Tragi-comedy (Personal Triumph): the protagonist fails to achieve the goal, but his failure turns out to be a good thing.
  4. Comi-tragedy (Personal Tragedy): the protagonist achieves his goal, but his success turns out to be a bad thing.

On the Editor's Blog you can find many tips to "ensure that at the moment [the reader] reads the final page, (s)he feels the satisfaction that yes, this story could only end this way."

Tell me some of the best (or worst...) endings you found in the fics you've read.

- Raum


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