Conclusion of a Short Story

A conclusion is usually defined as the last part or an end result of something. For example if you are writing a research paper then the conclusion would comprise of the end results of all your arguments. Similarly, a short story also has a conclusion where all the tensions of the story are resolved. In some cases the short stories have an open end without any definite end result and the conclusion is left upon the readers to decide.

1.     What is the conclusion of a short story?

The driving force behind the plot line of short stories is certain conflicts. These conflicts need to be resolved for the story to have a satisfying end otherwise the readers would feel that the story lacks something which would ultimately add to their frustration. One of the key points that adds to the authenticity of a short story is that the conclusions are usually not much comprehensive and leaves readers with certain questions.

Example: In most of the fairy tales like ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ or ‘Cinderella’ etc. tension is built throughout the story only to be resolved by a satisfying conclusion. However, some stories leave readers with lingering questions. Anton Chekov’s ‘The Lady with the Dog’ has an open end because at the end it is left to the readers to decide that whether the protagonists would really start a new life together or the start of a new life is far from possible now.
However, you can alwaysimplement the following strategies in order to write a satisfying


·         Closing the circle:
The conclusion should complete the circle of a short story be referring back to an important place or a key character.

·         The Tie Back:

In order to make the ending satisfying it should connect to some odd element in story that the readers are most likely to ignore.

·         Look to the Future:

The ending can leave people with the anticipation of what happened next. How did the character deal with the outcome of his decision and other questions like that.

·         The Time Frame:

Organize all the events of the story chronologically and decide that what incident must happen at the last of the story.

·         The Space Frame:

The writer must have a focus on the place and geography of story. For example a reporter who is reporting on the current condition of hurricane moves the viewers from place to place while reporting on the condition of storm. Similarly, a writer should ultimately bring the story to its final destination by moving swiftly between different places.

·         The Apt Quote:

Usually most of the writers end stories by making their characters to speak in end. Their dialogues comprise of a brief summary of all the events that have happened in the story. Sometimes the writer himself/herself speaks in the end and gives a resolution to all the tensions build within the story.

·         The Pay Off:

A story must have a satisfying ending rather than the happy one which means that at the end a mystery is resolved, a secret is revealed, a journey is concluded etc.

·         The Epilogue:

The ending must be written in a way that gives readers the satisfaction that the tension in the story has been resolved but the life of those characters is still going on somewhere in this parallel universe.

·         Problem and Solution:

This simply means that build a problem throughout the story and give its resolution/solution at the end.

2.     How do you write a good conclusion?

Writing an effective conclusion of a story is not an easy task because it combines all the elements of plot into a single moment of high-tension climax. The readers read the stories but usually what remains with them after closing the book is the ending of that story. All the events in story lead to its ending and once it reaches the concluding point everything points back to the start (already explained in complete a circle).
Example: Stephen Donaldson’s mystery ‘The Man who tried to Get Away with Murder’ has a good end because the mystery is resolved at the end by exposing the final culprit and the series of events that followed the crime.
Some of the ways to write a good ending are as follows:


·         The plot twist:

This refers to an unexpected ending. You are reading a story and thinking that all the events of the story must lead to a particular end but bam! At the end all the events turn upside down and the end is totally unpredicted.

·         The dark moment:

In order to make your conclusion magnificent you should introduce such a moment in your story where the gulf between truth and falsehood seems too big and the latter is on the winning spree. However, only the end will reveal the triumph of the former.

·         The moment ofrealization:

The character suddenly undergoes an important realization or gains a significant insight at the end.

·         Refusal to change:

Here the character is given every opportunity to leave his values and principles and change his life but the character refuses to change.

·         An amalgam of happiness and sadness:

A reader remembers that ending for a long time that does not exclusively follow in either of the categories.

·         Leave room forinterpretation:

An open ended conclusion leaves the readers to perceive the ending by their own so they involve in a quest to find the answers.

·         Tie up loose ends:

Resolve all the issues of story in the climax and scenes following it.

3.     What is twist ending in a story?

Some of the writers give false or ambiguous information in their stories so that the readers are expecting a particular end. However, suddenly towards the end of the story they introduce a radical change in the direction of the story that ultimately leads to a different outcome. This is known as a twist or surprise ending.
Example: ‘The Girl on the Train’ by Paula Hawkins has a surprise end because throughout the book the main character is shown as a drunk and an unstable women who wakes up with blood on her hands and no memory of what happened to her. However,it is revealed at the end that it

was actually her husband who was committing all the murders and was just using his wife’s weakness to frame her for his awful acts.
Here     are     some     of     the     tips     to     write     a     surprise     ending     to     your     story:

·         Keep it brief:

Trust your readers by keeping your ending short and avoiding over explanation.

·         Finish at thebeginning:

Make your end circular where the end refers to the start and vice versa. This gives readers a feeling that the journey has come to an end.

·         Keep it vague:

An open ending makes the story more close to real life because in reality life does not end after a certain conflict is resolves. The readers here can choose the ending of their choice.

·         Zoom in and zoom out:

In the start show a near picture of an ending but then move away and show the broader picture as the story starts.

·         Shock your readers:

Introduce a completely unexpected element towards the end of the story that leaves the readers in awe.

4.     What are some good plot twists?

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