Have you ever wondered what makes a short story memorable? There might be a series of factors, from relatable characters to a shocking plot or setting that make the story stand out. One of such factors that leaves the imprint of your story in the mind of the reader is an unexpected ending. Here is how to spice up the grand finale of your work.
Point of View Switch
Imagine that your story centers on a café. The servers all notice a lonely man coming in and ordering the same coffee every day. You can decorate this plot with more details, describing the other patrons of the café, their relationships, while thickening the mysterious atmosphere over the lonely man.
In the end, your story would truly shine, if you switched the point of view from the waiters, to the mysterious man himself, and let him unveil the secret of his lonely visits. The same trick of switching the point of view can be applied to any story that requires another perspective, or revealing some details otherwise hidden from the reader.
Deus Ex Machina
A plot device that goes as far back as Ancient Greece, the “unexpected divine intrusion” is exactly what it stands for. A sudden completely unexpected intervention of a new event, character, ability or object all of a sudden resolves a completely unsolvable situation.
If you are sure that your teacher adores happy endings, but instead you have written a horror story where each member of the group dies in atrocious ways, you might need to resort to this trick to save your story. Write how it was all a dream, a Halloween party or a stage rehearsal of a gory play. Fantasize!
Family bonds affect everyone. Think how your story could be different if the main characters would be connected with each other not by mere acquaintance. Long lost mothers, twins, grandparents or godmothers are all welcome to add a twist to your story, be it happy or sad.
If your star-crossed lovers who traveled many miles to meet and surmounted unbelievable obstacles to be with each other, suddenly turn out to be cousins, or worse, siblings, not a single reader will remain indifferent.
A truly cruel way to write your ending would be not writing it at all. Leave the reader imagining what comes next, with a few hints or allusions to what might happen. This would work especially well, if your character is torn between two seemingly good choices, and you know for sure that your audience will support both of the choices separately.
By leaving the reader hanging, you can evoke a thunderstorm of emotions, and in the end, every reader will imagine their version of the sequel to be the absolute truth.
A Short Story Writing Manual for Free
Got inspired and now are ready to write your own short story? Want your reader to swallow it in a gulp and stay impressed for long hours? Take a look at these tips to polish your writing skills and invent your own writing style as well.
A rule: there are no rules. If writing a story was an instruction of how to build an airplane this aspect of writing would have died already due to a lack of new techniques. You are a creator and only you decide where you put the beginning and where the climax should take place. Of course, take into consideration the readers’ wishes to be truly popular among the short stories’ lovers.
Every sentence matters. As your story is defined a “short” one you are definitely limited to a number of words which are usually from 1 to, let us say 3,500. As we wrote before, no rules apply to writing as soon as your story does not take more than 1 hour of reading. And that is why every word you put has its worth, that is why short stories are more dramatized and condensed than other types of writing.
Some people may say it is much easier and faster to write shorter stories than scribing long sheets of paper, however every type of writing has its nuances and the main difficulty of a short story is that you need to muse your topic, develop it, carefully discover it and surprise a reader within a limited number of words, no more, no matter how many details are off the boat.
Define the core part of your story. Think of what you want to depict and eventually come up to your position during the whole writing process. Even if you do not have it yet – get risky and simply start writing. The solution of this problem may come surprisingly and very unexpectedly – right in the process of writing.
Blend It Up. Who said the climax should be in the ending part? Remember Franz Kafka and his famous “Metamorphosis” and many other works that surmounted the readers with their end at the beginning and unexpected curves of a story line. Choose what you feel fits your story the most and stick to it. The readers will definitely be amused with your way of developing the plot.
Have an impressive title. It is the first thing people look at when holding your book (with novels) or seeing your website page. For a human, it takes about 2 seconds to decide whether they want to read this or not based only on the title.
Give it for revision. Not only for correcting your grammar or spelling mistakes but also to see the reaction from the nearest ones. If they are astonished with your writing – congratulations, you did a great job!
In other case, they might help you and point on some abstracts that need clarification or weakly written part that make readers lose their attention. Do not be afraid to fail, only in that way you will learn how to write the best-winning story of your life and even become a famous writer!