There can be no question. Your first page, your first paragraph must catch the attention of your reader – or they won’t read. But suppose they read your work to the end. A story that begins well must end well. The ending is what your reader will remember. It forms the final impression for your reader, not just of the story, but of you, the author. Consider the following:
Your readers are looking for something. They hope to find it in your story. Wht are they looking for? Most likely, an emotional payoff. The ending should reward them for their emotional investment in your tale.
It should show the result of the conflict (Hopefully, you’ve developed a clear conflict). Has your protagonist reached the goal? Maybe – maybe not. Sometimes a good ending might leave your reader wondering about the final outcome. The ending may not be clear, but may be suggestive of things to come.
A good ending shows the results of your protagonist’s character arc. How has he/she changed because of the struggles encountered in the story? What has been learned?
A good ending will collect all the loose ends and tie them up in a suggestive way – no need to go into detail as this will likely bog down the story.
These are just a few things to think about when ending your story. Take them for what it’s worth.