third acts that work

 

It’s the eleventh hour. The big finish. The grand finale.

In other words, it’s the third act!

We writers know that a lot is riding on the ending of our tales. It’s where all the threads we’ve woven into our story must coalesce into a coherent pattern of meaning and resolution. We want to give our reader the deep satisfaction of watching the puzzle pieces fall into place in a way that’s both surprising and inevitable. 

This is no mere solving-the-Rubik's-cube exercise. Great third acts satisfy emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually. The third act is where our hero demonstrates, through word and deed, that she is not the same person she was at the beginning of the tale. This story has meant something, not only for our fictional protagonist,  but for the reader who’s taken the long and difficult journey with her.

Sounds easy, no? I kid. Third acts are long in the making and swift in the telling, and a great one is unforgettable. Done right, they will win you fans for life. Let’s talk about how to make your third act a truly satisfying ending. 


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