27 May 2010


The final 1/4 of a story carefully builds in tension with several "above-the-line" scenes that culminate at the Climax with an ultimate emotional release.

Each culminating ending scene builds in energy to the next scene. Thanks to the earlier Crisis (at around the 3/4 mark of the story), the protagonist becomes more and more conscious of her flaws and strengths and of the world around her. No longer bogged down by fear or pity, she shows through dramatic action the release of pent-up feelings, of tension and of the past. Having died to her old personality, she embraces new ideas with the ultimate expression of mastery at the Climax. 

The relationship between a girl and her father represents a universal archetype. Can a writer who has not resolved her own personal issues with her father write the end of a story about a daughter and her father with truth and emotion?  

Yes, I believe she can. But... not necessarily in the first, or second, or even third drafts. The section of the story she will find the most difficult to write is the final 1/4 of the story.

If the writer's own feelings about her father are bogged down with self-pity, the story is likely to end angry and unresolved. If the writer fears her own pent-up feelings, the story is likely to end superficially and in cliche. 

Until the writer honestly accepts her own truth , she will struggle. To accept new ideas, she herself must first die to her old personality. Then, she can fully allow her protagonist a free rein to embrace all possibilities and ultimately discover the unexpected.