steering the craft

what makes an ending truly great?

 

Hands up if you agree: A great story has a great ending.

It feels both surprising and inevitable.

It comes neither too soon, nor too late.

It’s a deeply satisfying conclusion, yet also suggests a fully-imagined future that extends beyond the final page.

Sounds easy, right? Just kidding! We all know it’s not.

Third acts are the most misunderstood piece in the story structure puzzle. In this live talk I unravel what goes into a truly satisfying ending, the difference between “open” and “closed” endings, and the two kinds of satisfaction your reader demands.


My weekly livestream is on Wednesdays at 1 PM Pacific. Come live and participate! Or catch the replays here on the blog.

To watch live and ask questions, you can join the Path of the Storyteller Facebook group right here.

Or subscribe to the YouTube channel here. 

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the aftermath

We’ve been eating leftovers for two days. It’s the happy aftermath of the excess of cooking I succumbed to on Thanksgiving.

What can I say? I like to cook and it’s been a long year of no entertaining. Give me an inch and I took a mile. 

In your story, your hero too has overdelivered in the third act — and she too has something to show for it. She was willing to risk it all and sacrifice herself for the sake of others. She’s almost certainly had some kind of brush with death, either literally or symbolically.

She left it all on the field. And it has made a difference.

The struggle was not for nothing. Your hero’s journey of transformation was fulfilled. The change is irrevocable and full of meaning. What was lost has been found. That which needed healing has been healed. 

This is true not only of your hero, but of the larger world. A kingdom has been put right, a false or bad ruler has...

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storytelling is golden

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