Case in point
Written by Darlene Blakely
Just as a story needs a captivating opening, it also needs a final thought that will leave a lasting impression with the reader. Review these four types of conclusions to better understand what makes a good feature ending. Some may be more than one type.
Jolts and startles the reader; body of story is used to set up the reader for the unexpected conclusion..
Examples: Sweat, hard work and excruciating pain. Never ever felt so good. (Staying in shape) OR “They (the student team) were decent” said Mr. Dave Lewis, “But the fact we (the faculty) were so terrible, made them look good. They won because we’re fat and slow and out of shape.” (faculty vs. seniors basketball game)
Popular in stories written in chronological order. It’s closely akin to the traditional literary format except that, in feature stories, the writer stops at the point where the outcome of the story is clear, rather than continuing in literary form through a post-climax wrap-up.
Example: As the starting gate snapped open and seven thundering thoroughbreds churned the track, ‘Bright to Starlight’ glistened with sweat as she stroke after the goal she had been trained to win. (training of a race horse)
Ties up loose ends of story and relates back to lead.
Examples: He skipped a shower in favor of a quick shave, a shirt and tie that matched, and a Pop Tart and V-8 breakfast. The privilege of a few extra minutes of sleep commanded a high price. (getting ready for school) OR Team unity. Ten regular-season shutouts. A second place finish in Cities. Encouragement from one another. They had their cake and ate it, too. (boys tennis)
Ends by emphasizing a key, unanswered question, leaving the reader unsure of the outcome; wraps up the story just before the climax and leaves the reader hanging and free to decide an ending.
Example: As the starting gate snapped open and seven thundering thoroughbreds churned the track, ‘Bright Starlight’ glistened with sweat as she stroke after the goal she had been trained to win. (training a race horse)