Rescue Writing

A Kick of a Kicker

Ok, so you wrote a great lead to your story…and the reader is hooked. Now, how do you end the story with as much satisfaction?

Writers focus a lot on how to begin a story – too much, says Leonard Pitts, Jr., Pulitzer-prize winning journalist for the Miami Herald.

“With a strong lead, you get the reader into the tent,” he says. “But the end has to be more memorable – or at least as good – as the beginning.” Pitts offers three ways to write a good kicker – or end – to the story.

  1. End the story with a twist – go in a different direction than you led the reader during the story.
  2. End the story with a “show-stopping” quote – one that summarizes the points you want to emphasize in the story.
  3. Circle around – plant the kicker high up in the story, and end with a reference that circles back around to it in the close.

Every story has a beginning, middle and end – and all parts deserve the same amount of focus.


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