This Doesn’t End Well

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Having decided that I would keep my style and approach for Corpus, and tell the same story from the perspective of the ‘bad’/other guys, I am left with another problem. How do you keep an audience interested in a tale to which they already know the ending? It’s been done – Titanic is the most obvious example – but it does necessarily change the approach. You are no longer building up to a big finale in the same way, because there is no surprise reveal (or at least, not in terms of events). To use a rather trite cliche, the story is no longer about the destination but about the journey. Crucially, to continue with the Titanic example, it’s about the unknown characters and how they react to known events.

This does bring up another challenge. The characters in Titanic had a chance of living or dying (SPOILERS! They did one of each…) so the mystery and the reveal on a character level was still there. How do you write a character that your audience already knows is doomed? They saw the bad guy fall at the end of Book 1, there’s no way he can survive the end of Book 2. At that point, then, all the focus of the story has to be on how he ended up in such an impossible position and the choices that brought him to that end.

It is a different emphasis on story-telling, though, and something I will need to bear in mind. This is the point where events and actions don’t really matter any more, because they are inevitable and known. This is a story not about something that happened, but who it happened to.

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