Endings

Q&A

How Can Fantasy Stories End Without a Big Battle?

questions and answer talk bubbles

I’m pre-writing a long fantasy series and the final “act” always seems to be a build up to one great big battle scene. Are there any other options for sci-fi/fantasy writers’ third act instead of a great big world-ending battle? That would be a great … read more »

Q&A

How Predictable Should a Story Be?

questions and answer talk bubbles

Should a story, by and large, be predictable? Like should the audience more or less know what direction the story is going in, or should the story be more plot twisty and unpredictable? -Tucker Read more »

Analysis

Six Stories With Failed Turning Points

Spider-Man trying to hold a bisected boat together.

Turning points are critical to a good story. What’s a turning point, you ask? It’s the moment in a story’s climax when the situation changes, when the hero goes from losing to winning, or winning to losing if this is a story that ends poorly. … read more »

Storytelling

Seven Signs a Sequel Will Be Bad

When you finish a good story, your first instinct is probably to check if there’s a sequel. But then you hesitate. How can you be sure the sequel is going to be good? We’ve all seen more than our fair share of promising stories crash … read more »

Storytelling

Understanding Character Karma

Lady Justice sits with her sword, holding up her scales

Character karma is a useful concept that helps us understand how to craft stories that are engaging and satisfying. While I’ve mentioned the concept in many other places, it’s overdue for a full article on the ways it affects our stories. First, what is character … read more »

Storytelling

Six Types of Turning Points for Climaxes

Katniss and Peta contemplate eating poisonous berries

Most storytellers know that the climax should be more exciting than the rest of the story. However, many don’t know that climaxes need a critical turning point. Neglecting this turning point is one of the most common mistakes that writers make, and without it, endings … read more »

Analysis

Five Stories That End With Bizarre Reveals

Riker dresshed as Chef talking to Hoshi.

Ending with a well-executed reveal brings the whole story together. The audience finally knows what’s going on, creating enormous satisfaction. Unfortunately, reveals don’t always fit the rest of the story. They could be out of theme or contradict established facts. Instead of watching the story click together, the audience gets a bad taste in their … read more »

Storytelling

The Big Problem With Uncertain Endings

Basic story structure includes a problem at the beginning and a resolution to that problem at the end. But to make their work stand out, some storytellers reject the resolution. The romance ends without the audience knowing if the lovers will be together; the adventure ends with an undecided battle … read more »

Writing

Striking an End Note That Resonates

Man walks toward glowing open doors of castle

Writers frequently obsess over their opening paragraph, hoping to make a great first impression. But the last impression also matters. It sets the mood that the reader walks away with, giving it a disproportionate impact on how they feel about the story or whether or not they recommend it … read more »

Follow Us

Facebooktwitterpinterestrsstumblr

Get Our Email Newsletter

We'll send our best work every month.