October 19th, 2011

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Writing Excuses 6.20: Endings

Writing Excuses 6.20: Endings

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2011/10/16/writing-excuses-6-20-endings/

Key points: Endings need to live up to the promise of the beginning. For the Hollywood formula, the protagonist has to overcome the antagonist, achieve his goal, and reconcile his relationship with the dynamic character. The closer these three happen to each other, the more emotional impact. Endings can fail due to lack of earlier groundwork, or because it's overstayed. Don't hold back on your ending, but raising the stakes doesn't always mean the fate of the universe. Root it in the wants, desires, and needs of the characters. The groundwork and promises of the beginning are a social contract fulfilled by the ending.
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[Howard] What if I give a really good writing prompt?
[Dan] Okay.
[Lou] The writing prompt to end all writing prompts.
[Dan] Let's see it and we'll see.
[Howard] Take your least favorite recent movie. Take the first 15 minutes of your least favorite recent movie and write down what you believe the groundwork was that was laid. Now ignore the rest of the movie. Write the ending. I'm not playing how it should have ended with the... We should have just flown the eagles to Mordor. Do something tricky and sensible and wonderful with the first 15 minutes of your least favorite recent film.
[Dan] Excellent. Okay, we'll let you stay.
[Howard] Thank you. This has been Writing Excuses. You are out of excuses. Now, go write.