How to actually finish your story

How to actually finish your story

Bring that narrative home! THE END.

This article isn’t about beginnings, so ignore this sentenceplease and move on to the advice.

Plan it all out in advance

Some writers are “pantsers”, which means they write by theseat of their pants (which means they sit down and start writing without aclear idea of where the story will take them). Other writers are “planners”,which is a lot more obvious. It means they plan out what will happen in theirstory, then fill in the details as they go. If you have trouble finishingstories, try doing a point form plan for the plot – think of it as a skeleton –then when you’re writing, add all the muscle, organs, skin and… uhhh… like… veinsand stuff?

Write the endingfirst

Before you do anything else, figure out how your story is going to end, and write that scene. Now go back to the beginning and start writing, knowing where you’re headed. And, of course, if things change while you’re on that journey through your story, you can always tweak the details of that final scene you wrote.

Your main characterwakes up and realises it was all a dream

Please don’t do this. It’s really annoying.

Look at what otherwriters do

If you’re struggling with how to tie everything together, read collections of short stories and pay attention to how other writers wrap things up. You might be surprised. Don’t steal from them directly, but look at their techniques and think about how you can “borrow” them for your own work. Sometimes it’s about a killer twist, and other times it’s about leaving the reader with a sense or mood, even if you’re not wrapping everything up with a neat little bow. (This collection – Chris Womersley’s A Lovely and Terrible Thing – is really good.)

Don’t worry about anending

Finish your story abruptly, in the middle of a scene. Leavethe reader wanti


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