EXT. SPACE AROUND THE DEATH STAR
Vader’s ship spins out of control with a bent solar fin, heading for deep space.
INT. DARTH VADER’S COCKPIT
Vader turns round and round in circles as his ship spins into space.
-George Lucas. Star Wars IV, A New Hope.
Spinning that Vader craft out into space saves a great enemy for use in the next Star Wars film. But, it also brings just the touch of doubt and darkness that the hyper-positive medal-awards scene needs, as it concludes the film.
Even stories that will not be reprised, need a hint at conflict after the end of the story. It’s vital to leave a plot aspect or two un-sorted. With future conflict, we readers feel the satisfaction of knowing that the story is part of something bigger than itself.
For example, Sarah Waters in her literary paranormal novel The Little Stranger, opens the ending out wide at the end, in a most satisfactory manner. This reader sat muttering, “Is that what I think it means? Yes, yes, it is.” Readers feel satisfied with the ending, understanding that there won’t be a sequel, but confident that the story still continues somewhere out there, creepy, brilliant, and beautiful. Metaphorically speaking, it’s one way great writers give us the big sky we long for.
Writing Tip 22.
Note down the conflict that will continue after the end of the tale, even if, in your book, the entire cosmos is demolished. Good one.
I hope you’ll have another brilliant week in your writing career. Cheers Mel
Stella Ryman and the Fairmount Manor Mysteries was long listed for the 2018 Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour. Thanks for that, so lovely to hear.
Mel Anastasiou writes The Fairmount Manor Mysteries series, starring Mrs Stella Ryman, The Hertfordshire Pub Mysteries series, starring Spencer Stevens, and is Senior Acquisitions Editor with Pulp Literature Press.
If you enjoy reading Mel Anastasiou’s writing tips, get her pocket-sized writing guide, The Writer’s Boon Companion: Thirty Days Towards an Extraordinary Volume, here. Motivates, entertains, organizes, encourages, inspires.