Day 7: Plan The Final Endings
And now, the finale. Or, at least time to write the finale.
Our ending needs to have such a great twist that it is both surprising and enjoyable to all that read it. Writing a great ending is all about putting "Easter eggs" throughout the story so that when you actually find out the ending you go... "Ah! How'd I miss that!"
In interactive fiction it's even better! That's because you can put Easter eggs throughout both the main story-line and also in all the offshoots.
For our story, DJ Santa, we have a basic idea that can be summed up like this:
Santa wakes to a world of angry children since no one received any presents. Santa has no idea how he overslept but that now he must do something to right the wrong.
Mrs. Claus finds out that the Ancient Society of Santas have a plan for when this happen and it requires gathering magic dust to turn the sleigh into a time machine.
Mr. Claus sets off alone immediately and encounters a kind fairy that becomes his ace sidekick.
The combo face perils through the 3 challenges and you fight hard to save the fairy from certain impending doom. Once you get the magic dust, you face a final "boss" to get you back to your North Pole abode.
There, Rudolph knocks over the dust and it is then useless.
Now, you have to use plan B which is to explain your worry to the world and use the prayers of the children of the world to power your ship.
You do so, travel back in time and there you see what happened.
The culprit is...Nope.
Keeping this one a secret because what's important for tonight is not thinking up that one ending that fits this story line, but a unique number of ways that the ending you chose can be altered slightly to provide a fresh number of fun lose points.
In my previous TAZA book, I set up a strong node with 7 choices before the ending. Then figured 7 different endings with only a few of the 7 giving a truly satisfying ending.
This leads to repeat gameplay. For the few that were finalized and perfected, I put up an epilogue where only one of the three main endings reveal even more about the story. This might even seem to be a cruel way to hide the true ending, but similar to Marvel's post-credit scenes this will add value to your game.
Also note, it's also possible to take today to think of places where the story alters so significantly that you create a second "main" ending. I wrote this in TAZA as my favorite ending, and it makes for a slightly shorter book, but is an amazing to keep readers happy.
So, your homework is to write out, in stages, how the ending can progress and/or end abruptly from two to three main passages from the final node.
- Santa steps out the time machine and can look at 7 different items. Three of the items lead him to the final clue.
- Can he guess "who dunit"?
- You guessed right! Now let's investigate and find out who ruined Christmas and why!
- Now, here's the first part of the ending. Congrats!
- Do you want to stop playing or see epilogue? ->> Epilogue gives more choices (2 or 3)
- Correct choice leads to final ending! Other two lead to faux endings.
- This is my personal way to write killer IF endings. Use it. It will be of use to you.
Have a great weekend. Only a recap tomorrow as we take a day to let the ideas flow in your mind and mine. Until next time, remember, Make Good Decisions!