Endings

Analysis

Five Stories With Anticlimactic Endings

Kvothe looking at a city far off in the distance.

The meaning of “anticlimactic” is refreshingly simple: the climax is a disappointment. We might call a story anticlimactic if the main villain is defeated too easily, if a major story arc just disappears without explanation, or if the throughline isn’t properly resolved. The story’s climax … read more »

Storytelling

Understanding Character Karma

Lady Justice sits with her sword, holding up her scales

Character karma is a useful concept that helps us understand how to craft stories that are engaging and satisfying. While I’ve mentioned the concept in many other places, it’s overdue for a full article on the ways it affects our stories. First, what is character … read more »

Analysis

Five Stories That End With Bizarre Reveals

Riker dresshed as Chef talking to Hoshi.

Ending with a well-executed reveal brings the whole story together. The audience finally knows what’s going on, creating enormous satisfaction. Unfortunately, reveals don’t always fit the rest of the story. They could be out of theme or contradict established facts. Instead of watching the story click together, the audience gets a bad taste in their … read more »