‘And they live happily, ever after’ is what we often heard when we were still young, and perhaps until today. From novels to movies, an ending will always be as important as its beginning. A story will never be complete without it. But did you know that there are several types of endings? Below are the few examples of endings and their definitions.

First is the Circular Ending. This is a kind of then/now, before/after contrast. The story circles back to the beginning. Sometimes, an author will end with the same idea or similar or even exact words as the beginning of the story. Although sometimes the beginning and end are comparable but not quite identical, there are clear opportunities for mirroring. This kind of strategy offers possibilities of satire and irony since the reader is encouraged to compare the before and the after. Thus, the contrast, sweet or bitter, is plain to see.

Next is the Surprise Ending. This kind of ending takes the reader to where he or she did not expect to go. Sometimes, this ending is called a twist ending because the story takes an exciting turn. It is a radical change in the expected direction or outcome of the plot. It is known as a surprise ending when a plot twist happens near the end of a story, especially if it changes one’s view of the preceding events. Sometimes a plot twist is used by people to describe a sudden change of a situation in real life.  A surprise ending is a plot twist occurring near or at the conclusion of a story: an unexpected conclusion to a work of fiction that causes the audience to reevaluate the narrative or characters.

Then there’s this Unclear Endings. This kind of endings is often termed as ambiguous endings. There is a lot left unexplained and the reader is still asking questions since the resolution is not clear-cut. This is usually done so that different people can come to different conclusions. For example, many of the short stories featured in The New Yorker end somewhat ambiguously in terms of what will happen to the characters, what decisions they will make, or even what has already occurred in the story. Sometimes, an unclear ending leaves the reader wanting while in some cases it leaves the reader really irritated. Although it may seem a little mean-spirited on the part of the author to toy with the reader’s mind and emotions, it actually speaks to how involved the reader to the character’s lives and their individual stories.

Another kind of ending which is somewhat common to some novels is the Emotional Endings. The story ends by leaving the reader feeling emotional or good inside. A good writer tugs at the heart strings to make the reader feel something.

Lastly, is the Irony type of ending. This type of endings occurs when the expected outcome does not happen. This is also called an irony of event in the story. The outcome can sometimes be serious or humorous.

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