Once, as a child, I read a very forgettable book with a memorable bit in it. I don’t remember the book at all, but I remember this: one of the child heroes (it was a kid’s book, after all) was in the middle of a Lassie movie when the call to action came. When he whined about missing the end of his movies, one of his friends pointed out that we all knew how it ended. Lassie saves the day.
Yeah, the first kid replies, but I wanted to see how.
In my previous two posts, I pulled together the elements of a story. We have an interesting setting, some character interaction, an intriguing situation, and even some nice conflict.
Will our heroes risk their jobs and possibly even their position in time and space in order to expose their employer’s dangerous experiments? And how will the odd, one-sided romance angle play out?
If you think about it, gentle reader, you probably already know the answers to those questions. I mean, it’s not like you haven’t been exposed to stories before. Of course our heroes will pursue both the dangerous truth and the romance. Wouldn’t be much of a story if they didn’t.
But, if I write it all up well, hopefully you will want to stick around to see how they reach those answers. To be a story, to be a good and satisfying story, beguiling the reader or viewer or audience with all the fun bits isn’t enough. It’s just a start.
But the story has to resolve. To reach a conclusion. To reach a good conclusion consistent with and worthy of what has gone before. And your audience has to care enough to follow you there.
And if I knew all the secrets to making that happen I’d be rich and famous. But I tell you this: it can be done.