How To Write Short Stories – Part Eight – Beginnings and Endings

If you have missed my previous parts the content is as follows –

Part One – General outline of what a short story entails

Part Two – How to get inspiration for your short story

Part Three – Characters

Part Four – Plotting Your Short Story

Part Five – Point of View in Short Stories

Part Six – Dialogue in Short Stories

Part Seven – First or Third Person


It can be really tricky to start a story because you have to grab the reader straight from the first line. The beginning determines whether they read on or skip your story for another one, these tips are designed to help you in writing your beginning to your short story.

–          Having a great first line is key because it automatically grabs the reader’s attention and draws them in.

–          Starting with a rhetorical question is a good way to start because the reader answers this in their own head then continues to read on to see if they were correct.

–          Starting with two characters in dialogue draws the reader in right from the start, we want to be interested in the characters and plot – who are they, what are they talking about, what will they do next?

–          Start with a situation that people can identify with that is fairly common such as misplacing something, a break up etc.


The ending needs to be unforgettable, after all it is the last thing the reader reads of your story! It will determine whether they come back to read more of your work. The ending closes up your story and by following these tips you will have the reader wanting more even though the story is over!

–          Make sure something happens! There is nothing worse than reading a story and when it comes to the ending nothing actually happens, the whole story has been building up to this one moment and it leaves you closing the book/magazine with a sigh. Whether you add action or make a character have a realisation just make sure it is not boring otherwise the reader will be very disappointed.

–          Do not make it too obvious, ‘and they got back together, and lived happily ever after, the end’. Predictable endings are so boring – you want the reader to read your ending and think ‘wow I had no idea that was coming’. A surprise or shock factor is definitely a winner!

–          Your ending needs a feel good factor. You want the reader to feel satisfied and not cheated out of a great ending. Leave the reader glowing with all kinds of emotion so they will come back for more of your stories.

–          If when you are writing your story you are not sure of how it will end, do not worry it will come to you eventually. Just put your story away for a few days and go back to it with fresh eyes.

Hope this has helped you guys on how to write your beginnings and endings of your short stories. If you have any questions or queries do not hesitate to comment below where I will answer them for you! Part Nine will be about how to write a TWIST IN THE TALE short story (it will be posted very soon so as always keep an eye out!).

Sophie Chekruga 🙂


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