Three potential ways to end your story

In every story, there comes a turning point or an ultimate moment in which the situation has become so intolerable that the main character must take a decisive step and emerge victorious. This scene is known as the climax.

Also called a “final obstacle,” the climax comes at the end of the story’s rising action. The main character metaphorically has reached the mountain top and either must push off the antagonist or be pushed off. Because of this, the climax is a scene of escalated action. It is that part of the story when the main character resolves the story’s central problem.

There are three possible ways the story can for the main character – or three general climaxes – that you can write. The main character can:
• Succeed – This by far is the most common climax, and it invariably means a happy ending. After all, the main most readers will ask as reading your story is “How will the main character overcome solve this problem?” Most readers have become so familiar with storytelling strategies that they never wonder if the main character will be successful.
• Be defeated – In such stories, the character typically is his own worst enemy. Circumstances might lead to his failure but usually it is some flaw or weakness in his character, which results in poor decisions. Typically such stories are more literary in nature and focus on a message or theme about human morality.
• Abandon the goal – On rare occasions, the main character may realize that solving the problem will not make his life or those of others any better. Such tales often aim to make large statements about human morality and the nature of our existence.


My name is Rob Bignell. I’m an affordable, professional editor who runs Inventing Reality Editing Service, which meets the manuscript needs of writers both new and published. I also offer a variety of self-publishing services. During the past decade, I’ve helped more than 300 novelists and nonfiction authors obtain their publishing dreams at reasonable prices. I’m also the author of the 7 Minutes a Day… writing guidebooks, four nonfiction hiking guidebook series, and the literary novel Windmill. Several of my short stories in the literary and science fiction genres also have been published.