Many short stories gracefully travel through setting the scene, rising the action, reaching the climax and then quickly create a contrived and rushed resolution. We have put together some tips to help writers complete their stories in a way that suits the characters and the plot.
1. Kill a character. This is a dramatic and engaging way to end the short story. Make sure it resonates authentically with what has come before.
2. Have a birth. Babies can complicate or complete things.
3. Indicate that power or change is attained through emotional/moral growth.
4. Indicate that power or change is attained through moral deterioration.
5. Indicate the character has not grown so is in the exact same place as at the beginning of the story.
6. Leave things up in the air. The story indicates a probable ending but leaves the definite description of the outcome incomplete, so that questions remain unanswered.
7. Create a plot twist. By foreshadowing through-out your story, you can be sure the reader will re-read the story to pick up the clues.
8. Go from specific to general. Show the detail and then pan out to show the broader picture.
9. Conclude your story where you began. Include the title or the first sentence of the story in the conclusion. The circular nature of the story ties all the ends up neatly.
10. Describe the future outcome. Go ahead in time and show how the main characters function at a future time.
The best thing to do is to write your story and let it sit for a few months, go back, re-read it and check to see if the conclusion fits. If not – try one of the above tips!