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actor-bait, compelling concept, great ending, screenwriting tips -

What makes a great ending? It can be a maddening question. Maybe you’ve found an awesome, compelling concept, figured out a strong narrative structure and plot, and written a multi-faceted, actor-bait protagonist role. But try as you might, you still can’t nail that ending. It feels too flat and predictable, too abrupt… it just feels wrong.

A lot of times, this boils down a lack of thematic challenge intrinsic in the choice of ending. Let’s consider some classic examples. THE SEARCHERS is widely considered a classic of the Western genre and frequently shows up on “best of” lists.

The end of the film shows John Wayne, after he’s triumphed, and seemingly “won” the movie by returning his abducted niece. He should come inside the cabin and have a happy moment, right? 

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