Banish the Bow!
Last week my tip was how to open your short story and grab your reader’s attention straight away. This week my tip is about ending your short story:
Don’t feel as though you have to tie your story up in a nice little bow. Many readers like a story with an open ending so they can finish it for themselves e.g. in a science fiction story, all the aliens could have left Earth after a fierce battle and your last sentence could reveal that one has been left behind. Your readers may decide that the spaceship comes back for their lost member, or perhaps it’s all part of their plan to conquer earth, or another scenario is that the alien goes on a killing spree. With an open ending, there are plenty of ways for your readers to unleash their imagination and finish your story.
Of course, this all depends on your market. There’s more scope in a short story competition to leave your readers to make up their minds as to what happens next. But other markets, such as most of the women’s weeklies, prefer their stories to leave readers in no doubt that all ends well.
I leave you with a Friday photo to make you smile: