What is the Resolution of a Story?

Do you know the feeling when you are reading a book, it’s getting so close to the end and you can’t stop reading because you just have to know what happens! We all hope for a story where all the characters live “happily ever after” but will it happen?? The only way to know is… by reading the resolution! But, what is the resolution of a story? Keep reading to find out!

What Is A Story’s Resolution?

A story has 5 elements: exposition, rising action, climax, falling action and resolution. The resolution is the last part of the story. This part of the story helps you say goodbye to the characters and imagine how the rest of their lives will go!

Without a resolution you might feel like the last pages fell out of your book and you missed something! Resolutions help tie the story together so you feel ready to close the book and your questions are all answered.

For example, in “Peter Pan” the resolution is that the children come back home to their parents and Peter Pan promises to bring Wendy back to Neverland every year. This resolution lets you imagine what the children’s lives will look like in the future and you feel comfortable saying goodbye and closing the book!

How Is A Resolution Different Than the Story’s Falling Action?

The falling action comes right before a story’s resolution. The falling action of a story is where the problem the main character faces is solved. For example, the bad guy is killed or runs away! In the resolution, the story is wrapped up. It’s the part where characters go home or life returns to normal! A good way to tell if it’s a resolution or a story’s falling action is if you were a part of the story, would you feel comfortable giving the main character a hug and walking away? If not, it’s probably still the falling action and you haven’t reached the resolution yet!

Are All Resolutions Happy?

Sadly, not all stories end “happily ever after”. A resolution doesn’t mean the story ends the way you want it to. For example, in Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”, the resolution to the story is Romeo and Juliet both die and both families realize their hatred of each other caused their deaths. This is a sad end to the story but it’s still a resolution.

How Long Is the Resolution In A Story?

Resolutions are usually short and sweet–just the last few pages of a book! Because the conflict has ended and the characters’ lives are returning back to normal, a long resolution would feel like a new conflict needed to happen or you as the reader would become bored. A long resolution would kind of feel like you said goodbye to someone and then awkwardly keep walking the same direction — when you say goodbye in a story, it’s time to close the book and go on your way!