Create the Ending

Grades 7 - Adult

Your story idea now contains a What Section and a Why Section. Time to write the ending.

Beginning the Ending

The main character must solve the problem.  Therefore, to start the ending, use a simple sentence such as Then I had an idea.

Starting the Why Section

Begin the Why Section by starting a new paragraph and repeating the What/Why Statement.













Main Character

Verb Phrase







had a problem with

a talking dog


it made prank phone calls in Athabascan


1st sentence


I loved Jackson, my golden retriever.



Then one day I (verb) a troublemaker


I had a problem with a talking dog because it made prank phone calls in Athabascan

Then I had an idea.

Task 2.9.1 – Small Group

Brainstorm possible endings in which the main character solves the problem. DO NOT ARGUE.  

Task 2.9.2 – Small Group

Cross out any ending in which–

The problem isn’t solved.

Luck, God, or another person solves the problem.

The ending is predictable.

Task 2.9.3 – Small Group

Ever watch a movie and  the ending was messed up? That’s the writer’s fault who didn’t work on the ending as they should.

There are four things a good ending never does:

just Stop

You can’t have your story end just like that. In the talking dog story, if you just end it, the problem of the dog and the story become someone else’s. They could pick up where you left things and carry on.

Let Someone Else Solve the Problem

In a good story, the main character is the hero who should fix the problem. If someone else does their job, it’s not as exciting.

If you let someone or something else save the day (like your friends, family, or luck…), it’s not a good ending.

The Solution Cannot Be Obvious

In many movies, the main characters punch or shoot their way out of the problem. Action is fine, but it has to be unexpected and surprise the reader in a way.

Build up to the Solution

This ties with the first tip (don’t just stop the story). One way to do this is by ‘planting’ information earlier. So by the end of the story, it would be big and feel natural

Let’s say that you learn your dog can speak 16 languages very early in the story, such as when you catch him making pranks calls. Is there a way the family can use the dog’s skill?

Maybe the main character realizes, “He doesn’t just like to speak other languages. He likes to talk on the phone.” He would make for a good telemarketer that can reach a wider audience using his many languages.

The Story Cannot Be a Dream

“… it was all a dream.” Don’t do this! Making the whole story a dream, not only feels like cheating the reader, but also it’s an overused trick.

Task 2.9.4 – Small Group

Grade the remaining ideas.

            C         Listeners would likely think of this even though it is not an obvious solution.

            B         Listeners would not likely think of this AND it is consistent with the story.

            A         Listeners would likely say “Wow!” and it is consistent with the story.

Task 2.9.5 – Small Group

Create and work a Decision Chart.  Possible evaluators might be—

  • Which solution do you yourself like the best?
  • Which solution will most likely impress listeners?
  • Which solution is the most humane?



I like








Poss. End 1





Poss. End 2





Poss. End 3





Task 2.9.6 – Small Group

Create the solution. 

Add a few sensory details to make listeners feel as if they are “there.”.

Task 2.9.7 – Group

Create the wrap-up. 

The wrap-up, also known as the dénouement (day-new-ma) ties up any loose ends.

For example, in our talking dog story, the main character could introduce the idea of the dog becoming a telemarketer. Listeners don’t know, however, it the dog will agree.  So the last sentence might say, And the dog’s eyes lit up.