In light of the recent “apocalyptic” events such as the earthquake and Hurricane Irene–all this frantic scare tactic talk about the end of the world has prompted me to think more about the seeming crisis of ending a damn script (I love all my scripts btw–I’m just frustrated!).
I’ve spoken to many colleagues about the writing process and the brick wall that they hit when attempting to write the penultimate third act and I have also meditated on my own scripts and endings to try to figure out what the hell goes wrong between the midpoint and the last piece of dialogue uttered in a script and I still can’t quite figure it out to a point to where I am at peace with my own process and understanding of how to write a kick ass third act.
Due to my own quest and insatiable neuroses of wanting to solve this issue, so I can just put a couple of my scripts on the finished shelf for good, I am currently doing a bit of research on endings and what makes certain films and scripts feel whole.
Today, I ran across a quote that I think is quite befitting and has also prompted me to reread the last chapter of The Odyssey because it is the type of novel that serves as a platform for good endings… with an overall sense of reward and satisfaction after having weathered the apocalyptic storm of existence.
We Seekers come home at last, purged, purified, and bearing the fruits of our journey. We share out the nourishment and treasure among the Home Tribe, with many a good story about how they were won. A circle has been closed, you can feel it. You can see that our struggles on the Road of Heroes have brought new life to our land. There will be other adventures, but this one is complete, and as it ends it brings deep healing, wellness and wholeness to our world. The Seekers have come Home. -Vogler
This quote is essentially what we the Writers… Seek to accomplish by even taking on a screenplay… we inevitably seek to bring our characters on a journey that in some ways completes them and the original question they asked of the world… the Main Tension of the film… the reason we spent our $15 to take a looking glass to our eyes to peer into someone else’s life and circumstance.
So I leave you with this… at the end of your script does your character come home with that special elixir, the power to heal the wounded land or do they come home at peace with their own failure or perspective of the world? Whatever the case may be… they better come home with something that is worth the return from that which they experienced… it’s all relative.
My research and thoughts on endings will continue. For now, enjoy one of my favorite endings from One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest–and to be fair, this is not the entire ending because it is only 2 of the 15 minutes of the closing of the film, but