end

The ending that lives on within the reader

The organic story finds its end in its beginning. Thus, a great story signals the audience back to the beginning in its ending. A story can have a finality ending, where the story truly ends on the last page of the book. Great books have the story continue in the minds of the audience.

plot

What is plot?

Plot is whatever happens in a story. Plot is built on significant events in a given story. They are significant because they have important consequences. Unimportant events, such as closing a door or braiding your hair are incidents. They don’t have important consequences, unless you are Rapunzel, in which case they are crucial actions. So what makes plot? Cause and effect. On event leads to another event.

denouement

Writing the Final Scene: the Denouement

The denouement is everything that follows after the climax, with one purpose: to wrap up the story. Readers now crave two things. First, a final reactionary scene to show the consequences of the plot and the fate of the characters. Second, answers to all remaining story-questions.

coincidence

Plot vs. Coincidence; the sign of a bad writer

Coincidences happen every day in real life. In fact, things happen against all odds, every second of every day. So why shouldn’t you have a coincidence happen in your book? You can, if you do it right, if it’s meaningful. But if you’re not carefully laying foundations for your plot then your characters end up as nothing but puppets dragged around by strings.

act III: end

Act III: How to write the End

At this point, the reader has felt and seen the forces gather against the protagonist. Absolute disaster is just around the corner. The way you set up the story up to this point, determines the expectation readers have about how it will end. For them, it’s more than an expectation, it’s a silent promise you made. A noisy action packed story promised a big bang at the end. A subtle story promised a quiet ending.

From idea to manuscript in 12 easy steps

Part 1: Develop your idea
Step 1: Decide which genre you want to write in.

How do you know what genre you should write in? Easy, the genre you love to read. This is the genre you are most familiar with, with ready examples to look back on if you need a little help and most importantly, you should write a story you’d love to read. Walk over to your bookcase (or e-book reader of choice) and pick up the books you have read with the most passion. What genre are they? That’s the one for you.

set-piece

Set-pieces aka key scenes

Every story needs memorable moments. These moments are set-pieces and they lead the reader right up to the final destination. Each set piece is a major scene, or turning point. It changes the story and the characters, giving it a new direction. It gives the reader something to look forward to.

setting

Setting: the Stage of a Scene

The beginning of a scene should lay out the characters, their relationship, the environment and the basic conflict. A common mistake is to feel the need to establish all the information at the top of the scene. Let the exposition happen naturally. Let the readers discover who and where everybody is and what their relationships are. That’s half the fun.