How to finish a short story (with pictures)

How to finish a short story (with pictures)
How to finish a short story (with pictures)

When written well, short stories are refreshing derivations that can provide an escape from the routine of day-to-day life without needing to go into the lengths of a novel. Remember that inspiration blackout hits all writers at one point or another, if you have a new idea, but don't know how to finish it.


Part 1 of 4: Evaluate Your Story

End a Short Story Step 1

Step 1. Read over what you have already written

This will jog your memory and allow you to assess what you have already produced, as well as what you might still add. Ask yourself the following questions as you read.

  • What is the purpose of your story? In other words, what impression do you want to leave your readers?
  • Do you want to create a new one with a drop? An end that is not? A story that ends well?
End a Short Story Step 2

Step 2. Know the type of short story you just wrote

Is this a fable? Of Science fiction ? Of a love story? The genre of your story can help you find the most appropriate type of ending. Your ending should relate to the promises in the story you are giving to your readers.

Pick a famous short story writer - like Guy de Maupassant for a literary text or Stephen King for a horror short story - and read some of their stories. You can learn a lot about finishing a short story by reading the works of several authors

End a Short Story Step 3

Step 3. Create a preview of your news

Write a few short sentences that summarize each important scene or passage in the plot. You could do this: “Marc is going to a bakery to buy bread, but he forgot to take his wallet. He returns home to find that a stranger has sat on the porch of his house”. This summary will help you find the framework for your story, what is going on in it, with whom and so on. This could be very helpful in trying to find an end to your story.

Part 2 of 4: Putting Your Ideas on Paper

End a Short Story Step 4

Step 1. Think about possible ideas

Here you don't need to make complete, well-structured sentences yet. Your goal is to produce a series of contingencies. So you should put on paper whatever comes your way, whether vague, silly, or downright eccentric. There are many ways to brainstorm ideas. So you should try several and see what works best for you.

  • It can be helpful to draw a mental picture, either with pen and paper or with a computer. Start with what you know about your story - the characters, events, situations - and bubble for each of these. Add details and questions by drawing links between the bubbles to show how your ideas relate to each other.
  • You can also try writing a few key words on cards or pieces of paper. Try to find different combinations of these words and see if you like any of them!
End a Short Story Step 5

Step 2. See what you have already written

When reviewing your ideas, look for themes, recurring patterns, and repetitions. Are there any particularly important ideas or people here? Your ending will probably have to take this into account.

  • If you're having trouble choosing a direction, try making a list of what your characters want. Characters who have strong motivations will be more fascinating to your readers. Famous author Kurt Vonnegut remarked that “every character should want something, even just a glass of water”. Consider whether or not your characters got what they wanted. What could be the consequences of their present state?
  • Find out what issue or theme was presented in your story, if you still can't find an ending. If this is a problem, can it be fixed? You could think of it like a Harry Potter adventure: if the problem is with Voldemort who wants to become the ruler of the world, what will it lead to?
End a Short Story Step 6 1

Step 3. Write spontaneously

When you've thought about where you want your news to go and come up with some ideas, sit back and spontaneously write for about half an hour without stopping. Try to describe the end of the story, but don't worry about the spelling or grammar at this point. Concentrate on getting your thoughts in order.

  • You might find it helpful to install a timer. Take a break when your time is up and go back to what you wrote.
  • Find a quiet, distraction-free place to write so that you can focus on your writing.
  • Try to write for half an hour without stopping or trying to correct your text. You will no doubt have produced a very messy text, but it will be useful for you to get all your ideas out of one block without interrupting the flow of your writing.

Part 3 of 4: editing the ending of your short story

End a Short Story Step 7

Step 1. Choose your favorite ideas from your thoughts and spontaneous writing assignments

Make sure your ideas are consistent with the rest of your writing. A short story that ends well may be fine for a love story, but probably not for a horror short story where you've already beheaded, tortured, and driven insane half of your characters.

End a Short Story Step 8

Step 2. Compare your eventual ending with the outline you wrote in step one

Make sure the ending you choose tells your readers what they want to know. Don't leave anything hanging or unanswered. If, for example, one of your characters is about to have surgery in the middle of the story, your readers will probably want to know what happened to them.

End a Short Story Step 9

Step 3. Respect your reader

As Kurt Vonnegut suggested: “Monopolize the attention of a stranger so that he doesn't feel like he's wasting his time. Endings such as "it was all a dream" or "they all ended up dying" are not good ideas, as they do not solve the problem or offer a logical conclusion, which may give the reader the impression of having been duped.

Also avoid the ending which involves a deus ex machina - a kind of power out of nowhere that allows the character to overcome a serious obstacle for example, when an investigator in a new policewoman finds the solution to a riddle through a phone call where a mysterious person answers all the questions he asks himself

End a Short Story Step 10

Step 4. Make your ending follow the internal logic you put in your story

Don't try to change the rules of the game at the expense of your reader. If, for example, your heroine never wanted to get married and she changes her mind at the end of your story, make sure the reasons for her decision are highlighted throughout the story. and not suddenly at the end of the story.

End a Short Story Step 11 1

Step 5. Write the end of your story in short sentences

An example: “Marie approached the cupboard. She heard the scratching and tried to overcome her fear. Then she grabbed the storage room handle and opened the door. A mouse escaped from the closet and Marie sighed in relief. By doing this, you know exactly what's going on. You will come back to it to polish your style in the fourth part of this article.

Keep your eyes on the length of the text. A good ending is proportional to the rest of the story

Part 4 of 4: smooth out your blemishes

End a Short Story Step 12

Step 1. Make the passage you just wrote more descriptive

Concentrate on concrete details and also sensory. In the example above, you could describe the nature of these scratchings and what Mary imagined in the closet that fueled her terror.

End a Short Story Step 13

Step 2. Reread your ending

Make sure you've given enough information about your characters' thoughts, feelings, and reactions. In the example above, the ending may reveal that Mary feared only her own fear and was able to realize its absurdity upon seeing the mouse.

End a Short Story Step 14

Step 3. Read your story from start to finish

Make sure you keep some consistency throughout the news. You wouldn't want one part of the story to make superficial descriptions while the other goes into every little detail.

End a Short Story Step 15 1

Step 4. Make general corrections to your text

This is where you can polish and add those tweaks that make your story flow. Proofread carefully, make sure you have used correct grammar, and correct any stylistic mistakes or clumsiness in the way you express yourself.

End a Short Story Step 16

Step 5. Have a friend read your story

You might have a very different point of view than another reader, because you've taken a long time to write your story and have zero perspective. You may discover confusing or irrelevant parts when a friend reads your story. You might also find that your friend thinks the news is great!


  • Sometimes you can help yourself to create new ideas if you get stuck at this point by weaving a network around your characters. Draw lines between two figures and then imagine how they could have met.
  • Don't be too hard on yourself. Writing takes some practice. Relax and have fun.

Popular by topic