Don’t over or under-explain
A lot of writers struggle with where to end their story. Some bring it to a close very abruptly and leave readers wondering what on earth happened next and thinking they’ve missed something vital. You don’t have to tie everything up in a neat little bow; it’s fine to let readers make up their mind e.g. in a crime story, you could leave readers to decide if the murderer gets away with it or not. But you need to leave readers with something e.g. don’t leave them thinking well, who was the murderer then? After investing time in your story, this will leave them frustrated.
On the other hand, don’t go beyond your story’s natural ending e.g. in a horror story, it’s more effective to finish with the girl thinking she’s got away only for the monster to appear right at the end, its jaws drooling, than it is to go into great detail about how the monster finished her off, the hours all her friends spent looking for her, how her beloved dog pined for her and so on. There’s no need. Finish with a scream and your readers will know exactly what’s going to happen to the girl and be able to imagine it for themselves in their minds – a far more effective ending.
I came across this and it made me smile. I thought I’d share it with my fellow writers: