Writing a good ending
A good ending should fit with your beginning in some way. Remember to end strong: nothing’s worse than reading a good story that has an ending that makes you regret reading it!
Types of endings
Circular: The characters end up in a place that is very much like the place they started from — either physically, mentally or emotionally. This kind of ending gives the reader a sense of completion — of closure. It’s a very satisfying reading experience. Pixar’s short, “Knick Knack,” has a nice circular ending.
Matching: In a way that is similar to a Circular ending, a Matching ending ends with a theme or an image that is similar to that used in the introduction — even if the meaning behind the theme/image is now drastically different.
Surprise: Plot twist! This ending pulls the rug out from under the reader with an unexpected culmination of the events that you’ve laid out carefully throughout the narrative. Movie history is dotted with surprise endings, like…
Trick: Similar to a surprise ending, but there are no hints along the way! This ending truly comes out of left field. Something completely unexpected happens without any warning.
Summary: The story ends with the writer summing up what happens to te characters after the end of the narrative. Jane Austen did this in her novels. It was also a clever way to display the end credits in “Animal House.”
Open: There is no closure; the reader does not know what happens to the characters. In this way, the reader invites the reader to take over the story in their own imaginations.
The best ending
I think the best endings give the reader a sense of closure — and of meaning. The ending has to tie up the major narrative threads and release the important tensions that were being built along the way. In the same way a punchline after a long joke provides an emotional payoff for the experience, a good ending should leave the reader understanding why this narrative was an important one for you to share. Conversely, an ending that leaves the reader confused — or worse yet, leaves the reader unsatisfied — risk alienation of future projects.