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The Complete Handbook of Novel Writing, 3rd Edition by Writer's Digest Writer's Digest Editors

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Chapter Nine

The Essential Endgame Structure

Techniques for Ending Your Novel Effectively

Larry Brooks

There are more than a few writers and teachers out there, many of them orders of magnitude more famous than I am (not hard to do), who don’t like to compartmentalize or even attempt to define the sequential parts and essential milestones of a story’s structure. Too formulaic, they say. Takes the fun and creativity out of it, they claim. A write-by-the-numbers strategy for hacks, a vocal few plead.

When they do talk about story structure, they tend to dress it up with descriptions that are less engineering-speak in nature—“the hero’s journey” … “the inciting incident” … “the turn”—and are more appropriate to a lit class at Oxford. Makes them ...

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