June 23, 2011

Endings, endings, endings. Sentences have endings. So do paragraphs. So do chapters. And hopefully, so does your story.

The ending of your story may say to the reader, “I decided to stop writing here.” But if you have the readers’ needs in mind, you want your ending to be more than that. If your story is short, you want your ending to “stick the landing,” the way a great gymnast completes a volt.

If your story is long, your ending should serve as a reward to your reader for following you to that destination.

Don’t you remember that movie you saw that had the terrible ending? Remember how you and your friends grumbled as you left the theatre? Don’t make your readers grumble when they finish your story. Make them laugh, cry, cheer, write a note to their mothers. All accomplished with a great ending.

In this week’s writing chat, I talked about all of this and offer related tips. You can replay this chat at any time.

Support high-integrity, independent journalism that serves democracy. Make a gift to Poynter today. The Poynter Institute is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, and your gift helps us make good journalism better.
Roy Peter Clark has taught writing at Poynter to students of all ages since 1979. He has served the Institute as its first full-time faculty…
Roy Peter Clark

More News

Back to News


Comments are closed.