Flash Fiction: Resolution

Hello SErs! Harmony here. I hope this finds you all well. This is the fourth and final week of our writing flash fiction series of posts. I hope you’ve enjoyed them so far. In case you’ve missed the first three posts, here they are:

This week, we look at resolution and how to write your story ending. Now, if you’ve been following along by writing a short story beginning and middle, here is where you might want to shoot me, lol. Here goes …

Before you can write your ending, you need to have a key–something upon which your twist ending can pivot. That key needs writing early in the story, somewhere in the escalation phase. So, why, you might ask, have I not mentioned this until now? For the simple reason that we often don’t know the ending until we get there, and hindsight is a wonderful thing. Only on one or two out of my many stories had the key written in already, the rest I had to go back and tweak once I knew my resolution. One of them in particular, about the psychopathic counsellor and now entitled HEALING TOUCH, had me stumped for nearly two weeks. I’d written myself into such a tight corner, and I just couldn’t think of a way out. And then I did. And I had to go back and write in the subtle key to give me something later on. It might not sound like it, but I had great fun … I love a challenge!

TOP TIP

Flash Fiction may be read in a flash, but it is not written so quickly. Once you have your story down, then is the time to go back and polish it and tweak it to get your 500 words just how you want them.

This pivot point, or key, is what you use to get your character out of their situation … or further into it. I say this because your resolution might get them to meet their need, or at least closer to it, or it might put their desire even further out of reach (the psychopathic counsellor story is an example of an ending that puts his goal further away from him).

For our story on the kidnapped teen, it is both escalations that provide the pivot for the ending. Also, this key point can help you choose your story title if you don’t have one in mind already. For example, my kidnapped teen story is now called LETHAL INJECTION.

Below, I give you the ending in 89 words. After that, I will give you the whole story to read in one go …

(Ending)

Tanya’s breathing rasped, and she squeezed her eyes shut, fighting not to hyperventilate. Now was no time for panic. She had to get out of this. She refused to die at fifteen years old.

In one swift movement, Tanya lifted her arms over his head and tangled the chain around his throat, pulling tight. He gripped the chain, trying to loosen it. She grabbed the syringe and pressed it to his neck. After turning his weapons against him, she used his words too, ‘I want you awake for this.’

As you can see, I used the items that made Tanya’s situation so very much worse to get her out of it. This could be seen as both an opposites ending and a dramatic irony ending. These are the two main types of flash fiction story endings you will find. Okay, so here’s the whole story to save you going back to the previous posts.

‘Ouch.’ Tanya flinched. ‘What was that for? I’ve been good, haven’t I?’

Her captor smiled, which made him look even eviler. ‘Oh, yes, very good.’

‘So will you let me go now?’

The awful smile faded. Something much worse replaced it. ‘Silly girl. You’re not going anywhere.’

His mouth pinched, and his jawline became hard and distinct. Tanya ground her teeth while looking away and down at the floor, arms crossed protectively. Then he rattled a chain, mocking her, and her eyes jerked up. ‘No. No-no-nonono.’ Frantic, she shook her head and backed away, hands held up in front of her to ward him off. All to no avail. One hard slap was all it took. Within seconds, he had her chained to the wall. Tanya managed to hold in her sobs until he’d locked the door behind him, leaving her utterly alone with her terror and dejection.

If she hadn’t managed to escape from the locked room, how would she ever get out of the chains? A lump formed in her tight throat, and heat burned the backs of her eyelids. She shook her head. A week ago, she’d been walking to school as usual. And then this fat, ugly bloke with halitosis had pulled up in his white van and dragged her into the back.

At the awful memories of what had followed, Tanya clenched her knees and fought down the bile that had risen halfway up her throat. She had to get out of here. After a few minutes of twisting and turning her wrists, trying to escape the binding chain, her wrists bled and smarted. When her frantic struggles ceased, she became aware of how much noise she must have made.

The lock in the door clicked. Her captor had returned. He never came back this quickly after having his fun with her. She flinched and cringed against the wall, trying to disappear into the brick. He stalked up to her, syringe in hand. Her focus locked onto the long needle, which glinted in the glow from the light-bulb. ‘Wh-what’s that?’

In front of her, so close that she gagged at the stink of him, he planted his feet wide apart and waved the syringe from side to side. Her eyes tracked it. ‘This, my dear, is time to say goodbye. I have Pavulon and potassium chloride. They use this in lethal injections. Of course, they also include sodium thiopental, but I want you awake for this.’

Tanya’s breathing rasped, and she squeezed her eyes shut, fighting not to hyperventilate. Now was no time for panic. She had to get out of this. She refused to die at fifteen years old.

In one swift movement, Tanya lifted her arms over his head and tangled the chain around his throat, pulling tight. He gripped the chain, trying to loosen it. She grabbed the syringe and pressed it to his neck. After turning his weapons against him, she used his words too, ‘I want you awake for this.’

That’s it on writing flash fiction in 500 words. Here is a handy jpeg with the formula on it for you to download and save if you wish.

I hope you’ve found the series helpful. As ever, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

 

CLICK TO TWEET

Harmony Kent

19 thoughts on “Flash Fiction: Resolution

  1. I love seeing how people write. You offered wonderful tips and examples. While I usually have my endings planned before I start, I have been known to go back and drop in clues as my story takes shape on the page. And that’s a valuable lesson. Even people with detailed outlines need to realize not everything happens perfectly in the first draft. Great post—no; great series.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Chilling story Harmony. It’s true that you need to write the ending to see where a story ends. It always surprises me. I have to give flash fiction a try again. It’s been years since I’ve tackled that. Thanks for the tips.

    Liked by 2 people

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