Create the Ending

Grades 7 - Adult

Your story idea now contains a What Section and a Why Section

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.

Main Character
Verb Phrase
A troublemaker
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 3.8.1 – Small Group

Brainstorm possible endings in which the main character solves the problem.

Task 3.8.2 – Small Group

Ever watch a movie and the ending was terrible? That’s because the writer did not do their job.

There are four things writers must avoid doing in an ending.


In Chapter 2, you learned two ways not to end a story:

Don’t just Stop the Story

Don’t Make it a Dream

Two More Ways Not to End a Story

Here are two ways not to end a story:

Someone Else Cannot Solve the Problem

Listeners and readers want the main character to succeed. If someone else solves the problem, then that does not happen. You cannot have luck, your family or friends, prayer or the troublemaker solve the problem.

The Solution Cannot Be Obvious

Too many movies have main characters solve the problem by punching or shooting someone. That’s fine, but it has to be done in a way the reader would not think of right away.

Plant Information Earlier

You may need to put in what is called a plant. This is something you insert earlier so it makes the ending work.

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.” America has many languages. A telemarketer speaking with many languages could do well.

Task 3.8.3 – Small Group

Grade the 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 3.8.4 – Small Group

Create 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








Possible Ending 1





Possible Ending 2





Possible Ending 3





Work the Decision Chart.  If case of a tie, flip a coin.

Task 3.8.5 – Small Group

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

Task 3.8.6 – Small Group

Create a wrap-up. 

The wrap-up ties up loose ends.

For example, in our talking dog story, the main character could solve the problem by 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.