Ending A Story The Right Way

There are two ways that the fiction writer can come to a stop at the end of their work and like most of the other elements that go into a work of fiction, both deserve careful consideration since using either the circular or linear ending determines how well the entire story or novel works.

After the long and arduous process of writing the story and making all the structural decisions that the american fiction writer needs to make, the last one is the kind of ending that you want for the story and that will largely be determined by deciding what kind of story it is that you want to tell. There can be no mistake made about the importance of any ending and how it either validates the entire work for the reader or leaves it lacking.

One of the first principals that the fiction writer looking for the perfect ending will need to come to terms with lies in the fact that endings are a lot like beginnings in that all the events and actions in any particular story as well as the characters are highlighted by a single circumstance or situation. There’s a obvious need to get both of these just right so the reader is motivated to read on in the beginning and leave satisfied with the journey after the ending.

The first of these techniques is called the circular ending with good reason since that’s what it does; it brings everything around to the point where the narrative started and ties up any and all loose ends. The american fiction writer is looking to encase their story in between some nice ends here that are the beginning and the circular ending. The beginning and end of these works should be similar but not identical. These stories tend to wind down and end quietly rather than with a big action packed finale. Remember that a circular ending isn’t just the final scene of the work, it ‘s the peak of everything that the story is intended to be.

There are many other stories and novels that choose the equally valid linear ending. This is the technique used by the fiction writer that has spent a great amount of time carefully constructing all the elements so that everything that has gone into the buildup of tension and suspense builds to the one point where a final confrontation or some other kind of resolution is inevitable. When the piece ends right after this crisis is resolved without any other kind of venting or explanation, that’s called a linear ending.

As you might expect, the linear ending is much more popular in genre fiction that is generally action packed to begin with. Remember too that the scene that finishes a linear story is full of the resolutions of what should be the main issue. Anything else will be viewed by the reader as an anticlimax and a bit of a letdown.

Robert Starr is a professional writer/editor with several published books and a degree in journalism. He’s brought 20 years of experience in the craft to his own on line writing/editing service. You can reach him at

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