The end of a story should correspond to its structure. If the story lacks sufficient conflict, it won’t reach an end, it will just stop. If it has too much conflict, the ending may be unbelievable. An ending can be too predictable if the story structure is too simple. If the conflict is solved by some sudden outside event or force, the story’s structure and internal logic is violated. Worst of all are stories that end with “it was all a dream,” because then the story never mattered and wasted our time.
If you want to write a story that comes to a good end, here are a few ideas:
• This is a family drama about a son who thought his parents were acting strangely because they were watching too much Fox News, but then he begins to suspect demonic possession and must devise a way to differentiate between the two.
• This is a children’s story about a little girl whose invisible friends go away, and she decides to find them.
• This is a time travel novel in which the bereaved at a funeral discover that their memories of the deceased do not match in certain significant events and chronologies, making them realize they never knew who or what their friend and relative really was.
— Sue Burke