Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Grand Finale

Going into the finale, things are not good. In the next 75 pages or so, that has to change. We’ve been going mostly downhill since the midpoint. At some point, we hit rock bottom and we’ve been there for a while. What that amounts to is that the reader is primed for something to happen. The hero has lost. The villain has the girl and there’s no hope. How do we give the reader the exciting ending he craves?


Step 1: Decide What to Do

Coming into the finale, the hero is out of options. Everything he has tried has failed, so the first thing he has to do is to brainstorm a new plan. He may call upon his friends for help or he may develop this plan on his own, but he’s got to have a new plan. It has to be something different than he’s done before.

Step 2: Put the New Plan into Action

Our hero has something he can do now. He thought he had had exhausted all options, but there was one more and he is ready for action. It isn’t enough to have a plan. It may be dangerous. It may be a risk, but we’re ready to take that risk.

Step 3: The Twist

In spite of the risk, our hero has put the plan into action. He enters the villain’s lair. It isn’t easy, but our hero is on his way to saving the girl or winner her heart or whatever it is that he needs to do. But wait! The villain isn’t there. Neither is the girl. The plan worked well, but it doesn’t matter.

Step 4: New Plan Now

We need a new plan now. We don’t have much time. Whatever the hero has learned or however he has changed throughout this process, he’s going to have to put it to work. If it’s a thriller, he may have to jump in feet first where he once would have been hesitant. In a romance, he may have to express his need for the girl when before he didn’t think he needed anyone.

Step 5: Execute the New Plan

All that’s left to do is to put the plan into action. He kills the villain. He professes his love for the girl. Whatever needs to be done, he does it and our story finally comes to a resolution.