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How do you Write a Great Ending?

Updated: Apr 25, 2022

The End

  • · Resolve the conflict (final main plot point)

  • · Provide emotional fulfillment for the audience

  • · Tie up loose ends

  • · Fulfill the theme

The end is where the conflict is resolved. This is the final main plot point. In feature length films, it occurs only after many scenes, following plot twists that slowly draw the audience deeper into the story. In a short film, this must come much sooner, but if you keep the middle short and to the point, the end will appear when it should, only a minute or two before resolution is resolved. The conflict resolution plays the same role in both full-length feature films and short films. The resolution provides emotional fulfillment for the audience. For the main character, this may be good or bad. The main character might feel happy or sad about the resolution, or even wind-up dead. The point is that the emotional fulfillment for the audience is different than it is for the main character. The audience may empathize with the main character and feel their feelings, but the audience has their own emotional reaction, and they fully feel it when the conflict is resolved.

In Casablanca, Rick gets everyone to meet at the airport then pulls a gun on the police chief and forces him to let Ilsa escape with her husband. Then he shoots Strasser, the German officer when he arrives to arrest Lisa’s husband. Although Rick has just lost the love of his life, watching her fly away with her husband, he feels good about himself having rediscovered his lost patriotism, and gained a certain wisdom about love, life, and the meaning of happines