by Jonathan Kaufman
Memo to self: Stop ending postings with “In this most blessed of seasons, our warmest regards to you and your loved ones for the coming year.” Change it to “Carthage must be destroyed.”
The start of your story hooks a reader, but the ending is what leaves an impression. It deserves as much attention as your opening.
Here are three strategies from columnist Leonard Pitts for writing powerful kickers.
End with a twist. Give readers a surprise, and take them in a direction they didn’t expect.
End with a quote. A great closing quote is rare. But every once in a while, the person you’re writing about gives you the words that button up the story. It’s almost rude to refuse that gift.
End with the beginning. Plant your kicker high in the story, then circle back to it at the end. This gives your readers a sense of closure or finality.