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That one-two punch at the end of a story. (Plot Busters) | Laura Pauling

That one-two punch at the end of a story. (Plot Busters)


Okay, this is our last day to spend with this middle grade story that packs a lot of humor and heart.

Let’s talk about Act III. The ending. What some people claim to be the most important part!

Break into three: (external and internal conflict combine for the solution)

I wouldn’t say that the external and internal storylines combined here but they do later. I knew Act III started when her and her mom have a pow wow to make plans with one day left!

Finale: (the climax)

I loved the climax of this book. I’ll just say that Sherry meets the ghost one on one in a graveyard to “catch” him. The climax was everything it should be: suspenseful and emotional.

The cool emotional stuff that really sold me on this book is what made the climax though. Sherry gives the ghost some real time with his sister.

And then, she makes the biggest self sacrifice of all. She realizes that she talks to her mom on and off, where her brother doesn’t at all. So she gives up her 5 minutes that she’s been working toward and gives them to her brother! I was bawling. And honestly, it made this book rise to the top!

Final Image: (Opposite of the opening image)

In the final couple chapters, everything comes full circle. Sherry is respecting the Ruler. She’s being more accepting of her best friend’s boyfriend choices. And she has grown by giving up her real time to her brother.

Best ending ever for this story.

What worked for me?

  • Personal conflict was tied to the mystery
  • Personal motivation to solve the mystery
  • Character arc
  • Hilarious cute voice
  • Sherry became an extremely likeable character with her self-sacrifice.

Have you read any stories lately with an ending you loved and you knew you’d read the next one?

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13 Responses to That one-two punch at the end of a story. (Plot Busters)

  1. Natalie Aguirre January 30, 2012 at 12:44 pm #

    Loved that you showed what works for you because it brings it all together.

    I just finished an ARC of SEEING CINDERELLA by Jenny Lundquist. I loved it and I think because it brought the emotional and outer plot points to conclusion in the climax.

    I really enjoyed how you broke down this book into the three acts. It really helped me see it.

  2. Matthew MacNish January 30, 2012 at 1:18 pm #

    So the mom is the ghost? Oh wow. That is sad.

    • Laura January 30, 2012 at 1:30 pm #

      Matthew,

      The mom is a ghost from book one – not the bad guy ghost! It’s a paranormal series and is done with just the right touch.

      Natalie – I read and really enjoyed Seeing Cinderella too!

  3. Susan Kaye Quinn January 30, 2012 at 1:41 pm #

    I love stories that make me bawl (not that that’s hard to do)! The emotions get me every time. 🙂

  4. Leigh Moore January 30, 2012 at 2:30 pm #

    aww! You were bawling–I love that. :o) Let me think… outstanding endings. Oh! The first one that pops to my mind is “Where She Went.” That had a great ending–for many of the reasons you said. The emotions, etc. I’ve also read some great books where the endings really ticked me off… (e.g., those series cliffhangers).

    Fun stuff, Laura! I like the idea of a “suspenseful and emotional” climax. ooo~ :o) <3

  5. Ansha Kotyk January 30, 2012 at 2:35 pm #

    I’m plotting book 2 right now and you’re giving me some great advice! 😉

  6. Susan Sipal January 30, 2012 at 2:40 pm #

    Love how you (and the author) brought this all together, Laura. It’s so important to end the story on some sort of emotional triumph, I think. You always add to my TBR pile with these analyses. 🙂

  7. Kell Andrews January 30, 2012 at 3:11 pm #

    I’m not big on cliffhangers or series even, but two book ones I just read and loved are The Demon King by Cinda Chima Williams snd Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier. Strangely enough, little was resolved in either, but they were both such a rush I was satisfied and ready for the next. Both were very different but had fun, flawed, human characters I wanted to see grow.

  8. Lisa Green January 30, 2012 at 5:03 pm #

    That is awesome. I’m getting all choked up and I didn’t even read it yet. Wow. Great breakdown, Laura!

  9. Patti Mallett January 30, 2012 at 6:32 pm #

    This is very helpful. Thanks, Laura! I’m intrigued.

    I recently read “You Are My Only” by Beth Kephart and LOVED IT! (YA) The subject is a kidnapping, but without the abuse that can make these stories too painful to read. (Half of the book is in the mother’s voice, half is the girl’s.) I didn’t want to put it down! And I will definitely read it again, using it to study structure as you did here.

  10. Lynda R. Young January 30, 2012 at 10:30 pm #

    I love to analyze the endings of novels because I’m not confident with writing them. So much hinges on a satisfying ending.

  11. Stina Lindenblatt January 31, 2012 at 12:27 am #

    I love these plot busters. Do you think Barrie has read Save the Cat? 😀

    I love emotional books and suspenseful climaxes. Sounds like a great book.

    • Laura January 31, 2012 at 2:04 am #

      Thanks everyone! I think story structure comes naturally the more we read and the more we write. Thanks for the book suggestions Pattie, Kel, and Leigh! There is something very satsifying about a great ending even if not everything is wrapped up!

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