It’s Full Speed…to Your Novel’s Ending

“Writing is a passion I have never understood, yet a storyteller is all I have ever wanted to be.”
– Ruth Park

Act 3 of your story has begun! Your character has had external and internal conflicts. Looking back on your story, it should be one of two styles: It’s character-driven. This means your character drives the action and the plot. Or, it could be plot-driven, in which the plot drives your character’s actions. Of course, it all depends on your genre so write what feels the best. For the time being, let’s get you off to a roaring finale for your final act. This steers the character and the action in the direction of your ending.

3rd PLOT POINT: Remember, your character just had a battle with the antagonist. They won this victory (or should have, but it’s your story.) In the 3rd plot point, however, they’re going to experience a dark moment. Let’s say your main character just broke up with their boyfriend or girlfriend in the last plot point. A dark moment may be finding out they were cheating on them with another character. The now-ex is seeking revenge on them or that the ex was just using them to get something they wanted. Don’t go easy on the character but don’t throw too much at them either.

RECOVERY: At this point in the novel, your character may be re-evaluating his or her goals. They may question their own worth or ability to achieve what they want to by the novel’s end. This is your fork in the road. Pretend you are flipping a coin with your character. What happens if s/he gets heads? And tails? The outcomes have to be different, as do the circumstances. These outcomes are going to impact the rest of your novel.

Ah, the climax! This is a wonderful part of writing a novel. It means the protagonist and antagonist have a battle of the wins. One of them has to win and one of them has to lose. Let’s consider the neighbor scenario again. What if the neighbor didn’t want the other neighbor to move because they were spying on them, in love with them or planning a secret surprise for them? How would this impact the story?

CLIMATIC MOMENT: Your character’s goal is met and they have achieved the ending you had in mind. After all the conflict they endured, all the neighbor trauma that they went through, the house is the other neighborhood is theirs. Or, in fact, it’s just the opposite. They didn’t move and the bank loan fell through. As the author, you hold the keys to this magical, fictional world. The conflict ends, however, so the characters on stage at this moment should be at peace.

RESOLUTION: You’ve reached the final leg of your journey. At this point, your readers are coming out of the climax and into the ending. It’s either a triumphal or tragic ending, but the story has ended. Don’t disappoint the readers. If your readers have rooted for your character to get away from that neighbor, then get them away. Sometimes bad endings can ruin a whole story and you don’t want that.

Good luck on writing your novel! It’s a journey well-worth taking. There are stories out there that are told best in this format. Your book is sure to be awesome!

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