top of page

7 Tips To Write A Powerful Ending

Karen Osman

Last week, I talked about things to include in the opening chapter of your manuscript, so this week, I’m focusing on the ending. Whether it’s a happy-ever-after, a surprise twist, or even a cliff-hanger, here are 7 tips to help you write a powerful ending.

Tip 1: Tie up loose ends and resolve conflicts

The last thing you want for your book is a reader wondering what happened to a particular character or plot. This is most definitely the time to reveal who the father is! Look back on all your plots, subplots, and conflicts and make sure you’ve resolved them so the reader isn’t left frustrated.

Tip 2: Don’t rush your ending

This is a mistake that many writers make, but most readers will expect some kind of feeling of relief and if it’s too hurried, abrupt or incomplete, the reader will be left feeling unsatisfied.

Tip 3: Use the element of surprise

An ending that blindsides a reader can either work really well or leave them confused. But surprise climaxes are often used in certain genres such as thrillers - in fact readers expect them. The trick is to make sure you build up the suspense, so there are clues along the way.

Tip 4: Include the values of the story

Typical values include life versus death, love versus hate, or accomplishment versus failure so when writing your ending, focus on intensifying how these values are in conflict with each other. It’s tempting to focus on just the action but ask yourself how the conflict in those values delivers the greatest change in your characters’ fortunes to really make that ending stand out.

Tip 5: Validate actions

Make sure you validate the characters actions and choices as well as showing how they have changed for the better or the worse. How has the story impacted the characters’ lives? It’s also important to show the character’s inner journey as it’s their internal conflict driving their actions.

Tip 6: Make the outcome matter to your character

Your ending will be more impactful if you have a character your reader cared about from the beginning and you've established what's at stake. The ending is where the reader sees the results of the characters’ actions so the reader must believe the outcome is important to them.

Tip 7: Avoid clichés

We all recognise when we see them but avoid the cliché ending. This can sometimes happen when you bail your plot or character out - if the ending feels contrived, unbelievable, and not in tune with the rest of the story, the hard truth is, it probably is. Use your ending to fulfill your promises to your readers but to also leave a small kernel of wondering: what could happen next?


If you haven't done so already, subscribe to this blog for more writing tips. I'm always adding new posts to the feed, so if you're not subscribed, there's a good chance you'll miss out. Subscribe now and get my FREE downloadable PDF, 5 Ways To Unleash Your Inner Author.

I'm Karen, a best-selling novelist who left her corporate life to pursue my dream of becoming a writer. Since then, I've written everything from travel articles to web copy before winning a novel writing competition which led to a 3-book deal. 


Get my FREE guide, Unleash Your Inner Author as well as exclusive writing tips, reading recommendations, and more!

Thanks for subscribing!

bottom of page