how do you make good surprise endings in short stories?

i've read saki's "the interlopers", maupassant's "the necklace", O. henry's "the gift of the magi" and a few others and i never get tired re-reading the stories all because of the great surprise endings. i was wondering how do i make surprise endings with my own stories?


@aliciamj that's quite a good idea... but i was kinda looking for something like how the "the gift of the magi" ended. like the wife with a beautiful hair sold her hair so that she could buy his husband a new chain for his prized watch for christmas but turned out that the husband sold his watch so that he could buy her a new, expensive comb for her hair... you know, something as intricate as that.. anyways thanks for the answer!

@bonnieblue1 i dont quite get what you mean in the sample story. would you mind rephrasing it so that we could get what you mean? thanks :)

1 Answer

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Think of the most predictable way your novel would end. Then, make it the opposite!

    For example: A short story about a husband going out of his way to buy a beautiful gold necklace for his wife. He works hard and saves up his money, and even has a bit of trouble getting to the store and buying it. When the time finally comes to give her the necklace, you'd think she would be happy about it and express her gratitude, right? Well, take that idea and flip it. She tells him she is allergic to gold and can't accept his gift.

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