What makes a good ending?

Hey! I’m a writer and I would love anyone’s input on this question:
What makes a good vs. bad ending?

I know I’ve read and watched SOO many things that often leave audiences feeling dissatisfied or detached from the rest of the story because of the ending, and I just want to know others’ opinions on what a good ending is vs. a bad ending.

Is it the type of ending? (Sad, Happy, Bittersweet, etc.)
Is it the pacing? (Not wanting the ending to be rushed)
Do you like when stories have an epilogue that shows what happens years later?
Do you like when the author ends with a new beginning/ adventure?
Do you like open-ended endings that are left for interpretation?

Please lmk all your thoughts! :pray: :pleading_face:

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I honestly don’t care about the specifics of an ending, as long as it makes sense to the story. Not every story has to have a happy ending, but if a story is really happy and then it crashes in the end it would be disappointing, and vice versa

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  • Ties lose ends of the plot
  • Provokes an emotion for the reader (happiness for the characters getting their happy ending/ proud of their character development/ breaking their hearts and making it hard for them to recover if it is a sad ending ex The Dragon Bride by Earlgrey Tea).
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A good ending: relevant to the story itself, possibly answers unanswered questions, a steady pace.

A bad ending: rushed, feels random, doesn’t seem relevant to the story.

I also like when the author inserts themself into the story end as a character, whether it’s to thank the reader or give credits to backgrounds/overlays used from others as it feels more personal in my opinion. I especially like when they tease the reader that the story may not have truly ended, if there’s a sequel and/or prequel planned.

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What makes a good ending:

  • The main conflict or problem is resolved and we’re given closure
  • Characters should show some level of growth or change by the end
  • I don’t mind happy, sad, or bittersweet endings. The ending should evoke emotion, whether it’s joy, sadness, relief, or a mix of feelings. It should leave a memorable impression.
  • The conclusion should address major plot points and answer any lingering questions. Explanations/scenes don’t have to be thorough in doing that but all of the loose ends should be addressed at the least.

What makes a bad ending:

  • Deus ex machina. It’s lazy writing.
  • If the ending is inconsistent with the rest of the story(doesn’t align with the story’s tone, characters, or established rules). That includes plot twists that don’t fit the story’s context and are inserted only for shock value.
  • Unresolved conflicts
  • Abrupt or rushed(ends too quickly without a proper buildup or explanation)
  • Overly predictable. I’m okay with clichés but it needs to have some type of twist that makes the ending slightly more distinct.
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I like that too. I am going to tease a sequel (Season 2) at the end of Season 1 with a male MC and a different cast but the Female MC and their chosen LI do come back in the story at certain parts.

Then do a prequel series of like 3-5 episodes on each character’s backstory maybe. Season 3 will be the true ending for all characters.

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Love these!

A good ending:
-unless there will be a part two, no loose ends. Everything should make sense and I shouldn’t be confused.
-Should actually end. By this I mean I don’t want fourteen sequels because the author can’t give it up. This totally ruins stories for me.

That’s pretty much it, an author can have the ending be whatever they want but these are my preferences

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Interesting question! I’be been thinking of that too recently, so I’m bumping this (even though the forums have more pressing matters to attend to).

When I think of “the perfect ending” I think of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, specifically the final acts. Even though that movie has been out for 40 years, I won’t spoil it, but I will say what I like about it. Every character gets to serve their purpose, and each part of the main conflict gets time to shine before they all conclude, one at a time, in satisfying ways. Even though you know going in what is roughly going to happen, you don’t know how it is going to happen. This is key. The ending is about finding the final piece to the story and driving home the message you want to send.

Hope, relief, nostalgia, joy, satisfaction- whichever one it is, know what you want the reader to feel and take away from the story, and the words should come.

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Oh wow!! I really love your take on it!! Thank you!! :heart_eyes:

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