How-to Tuesday

Impactful Endings, Part 9: Simple Dialogue

Every week, we update our current how-to series entitled, “Impactful Endings: How to End Your Story With a Bang!” This series is about experimenting with different story endings to ensure your conclusion is satisfying to you and leaves an impact on your readers. Our ninth post is about how to end your story with dialogue.

Simple Dialogue

It might sound strange to end your story with dialogue, because usually dialogue is dispersed throughout a story. The typical conclusion does not usually have dialogue and it might follow one of the standard formats discussed in our previous posts. However, ending a story with dialogue can really allow your reader to feel connected to the characters because the characters are sharing the story’s ending rather than the author.

Dialogue, by definition, consists of more than one person. However, if your story consists of characters who are constantly in their thoughts and thinking to themselves, it might be a good idea to have them say the final line in your story! Even if the character is having a conversation with someone, you might consider having them conclude the story in their conversation.

For example, here is an example of dialogue between characters that could end a story.

“Wow, I’m really glad we caught that bad guy,” said Jeff.

“I know! It really made our city a much better place, huh?” replied Sally.

“It sure did, I can’t wait for the next time we get to fight crime!” Jeff exclaimed.

The End

Notice how the characters in the example dialogue recapped what happened at the end of the story and, in doing so, they concluded the entire story. Their dialogue was simple, yet it still had a lasting impact on the reader. It conveys a sense of resolution while the reader got to experience that resolution from the characters themselves.

Writing dialogue is quite simple and it is not much different from writing dialogue in the rest of your story. However, you want to be sure the characters are discussing the ending of the story and that they are creating resolution for the reader. Think about ways you can make your dialogue more powerful. Consider ending with a punch line or having your character give a speech which ties into the overall theme of your story. Be careful not to have your characters talking about a random subject, because that will leave the reader feeling confused as to how/when the story is ending.

The great thing about the dialogue ending is that conversation is natural, so your reader will most likely be able to tell when your story is ending. As long as the dialogue wraps up the loose ends of the story and ties in to the big picture, you should be able to successfully satisfy your reader with your simple dialogue ending!

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