Conclusion

At this stage you have been working on your short stories for a number of weeks.

You have achieved so much already! From creating your characters, generating your story, developing your plot, building relationships, using dialogue and perfecting your description.

Now it is time to wrap it up!

Your next step is to get writing your conclusion – the part of your story that we initially identified as the end.

The definition of conclusion is the end or finish of an event, process or text. In this case, it is the end of your short story.

How important is it?
The conclusion, and how well thought out and written it is, is vital to the success of your story.

Everything has been building up to this moment. If you have been working suspense into your copy you will be about to deliver your plot twist, which we spoke about in a previous lesson.

So, what are the necessary elements of a conclusion?

- That it makes sense.
A common mistake among writers at this stage, when so much time and effort has gone into their story, is to rush the end.

Generally, this isn’t something that is done on purpose – rather it is something that occurs through an eagerness to complete the story that has been in mind for some time.

It is important that you do not let this happen. If you get the conclusion wrong, it takes away from all of the work that went before it.

It must make sense – this is nothing to do with it being a surprise but rather that it remains in line with what you have written thus far.

– That it is a satisfactory end to the story.
There is nothing worse, from a reader’s perspective, than an unsatisfactory ending.

Picture this – you get drawn into the story by a fantastic introduction, you are hanging on every word from there in. You are not sure which way the story is going to go at any moment but you are looking forward to finding out…

When you finally get to the end, however, you are left feeling flat. It isn’t that you didn’t guess what it would be, but more that it didn’t leave you satisfied that it was wrapped up and delivered in the correct manner.

One of the main reasons for an unsatisfactory ending is when the reader is left with questions. It is crucial that you do not make this mistake.

When you started out on this journey you mapped your story out. Throughout the process you learned that you may or may not have stuck to this plan in its entirety.

Whether you did or not, is not a problem. What will be a problem is if you didn’t adjust that plan in your mind, as your story progressed and became clearer to you.

That plan, or the variations of it, is of utmost importance in allowing you to finish out your story with the best result possible. Answering any questions your reader may have.

– That it is not long-winded.
Finally, you must ensure that your story does not lose itself and that you do not go off on tangents.

In as much as rushing the end can be a common mistake, so too can dragging it out be…

You might find that you are struggling to bring the story to conclusion. You might feel that you still have so much to say – so much that your reader will want to know!

But chances are, you really don’t.

Never lose sight of the fact that you are writing a short story.

Your job now is to find a way to get to the point, to bring all of the elements of that story together and to let it go.

You can do this… (But if you are still struggling, don’t worry – our next lesson is editing!)
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