As your story winds down through the falling action, it should start prompting some questions.
For the purpose of today’s Writing Challenge, I’m not referring to the questions we referenced in Tuesday’s Definition… the ones left over from the beginning and the rising action that the climax didn’t answer.
The ones dealing with your protagonist and how he, she or it is going to handle such things as:
The war-torn land his victory has wrought, no matter how much he tried to keep it untouched
The space and freedom she now has after she broke up with her selfish boyfriend
The knowledge that he’s never going to get the better of the woman who destroyed his life so many years ago.
Those are important questions to consider at this stage of the plot-writing process. Or at least they’re the kind of important questions you need to be considering.
Therefore, as promised, we’re going to further explore them on Friday.
But for now, let’s consider a whole different line of authorial debate altogether.
Enough beating around the literary bush. Here’s what you might want to be pondering.
Consider whether your story should have a sequel.
Since the falling action is the spot in your story where most of the plot pieces finish falling into place, it’s a great part to wonder whether you want to tackle a second installment. Of course, if you’re a plotter, you may very well have already figured this out. Though you never know what might surprise you as the story winds down...
If you are going to take on a sequel, your next question should be about what aspects of your current story should be left unresolved. A few loose ends is a great way to give your readers a reason to look for book #2.
It’s not exactly a small subject we’re talking about here. After all, it would involve more time, more effort, and quite possibly – even probably – more money.
Is it worth it?
That’s up to you.
I know I’ve used that last line too many times already throughout this year’s “all about novel-writing” series. And I’m equally sure that it’s getting annoying by now.
It probably started out annoying, for that matter. But that doesn’t change the fact that it’s true.
This is your story. Or stories. This is your time. Your effort. Your hopes and dreams.
So you need to own them for absolutely all they’re worth.
That’s the official Innovative Editing “Go get ‘em!” speech. At the same time, if you’re working on your first draft – as in your manuscript isn’t fully written yet and you haven’t moved on to the editing phase – you actually don’t have to make this decision right away.
As we’ll discuss later on in the year… a lot can happen between writing the first draft and working on the second draft. Therefore, if you don’t know right off the bat, don’t stress out too much.
We’ve still got an ending to go. And then the story is hardly over after that.