The “What is Plot?” Series: Endings (Part Four)

Photo courtesy of mpclemens.

Here we are. The fourth installation of the “What is Plot?” series. Today’s topic? Plot endings. There are a few different ways to end a plot, and that ending will obviously be based on the kind of novel/story you’re writing. Let’s dive in, shall we?

  • Resolution: This involves the ending of the conflict by either the protagonist or antagonist. Resolution is the most common ending, but doesn’t necessarily mean happiness for the characters or the readers. The “unhappiness factor” can add depth to characters and can show how they handle the situations you throw at them.
  • Decision: In this ending, the protagonist makes an/a important/difficult decision about his/her conflict. when writing this decision into your story, remember to write it so that your character is giving up something to gain something better/more important.
  • Revelation: This is where something that was hidden throughout the plot is revealed. A good example is in “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson.
  • Trick: A surprise ending that deviates from any ending(s) that readers may be expecting. These are tricky (no pun intended). The best way to write them is to have your protagonist make a decision, but not let readers know what will happen after that. The downfall of this kind of ending? Occasionally, readers may think your ending is too simple and dull.
  • Explanation: This is an ending for those with a mystery/puzzle type of story. Explanations work best when the mystery/puzzle is kept well hidden throughout the story.

[Was this post helpful? Which ending(s) do you tend to write? Do you find one easier than the others? Please leave a comment.]

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