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Arcs and Endings (3)

In a Q&A for Creative Screenwriting Magazine, Michael Arndt made the point that “happy endings are really underrated”. It got me thinking. What’s wrong with a Hollywood ending? If you have a truly well-written story, why would a happy ending diminish its value? Why is it that writers believe happy endings are a cheap Hollywood device? The majority of cinema … Read More

Arcs and Endings (2)

Should you write a happy ending? Commercial common sense will tell you: yes, you should. Robert McKee says: “Tell the truth.” (see the previous post) McKee means: your story needs to reflect your worldview. If you contradict whatever you believe in for the sake of commerce, you will fail. During his Arthouse seminar, he gives the example of Bergman’s THROUGH … Read More

Arcs and Endings (1)

The finest writing not only reveals true character, but arcs or changes to that inner nature, for better or worse. In 1998 McKee signed my first edition hardback of STORY. He wrote: “To Karel: Tell the TRUTH!” Ironically with the quote at the top of this article, McKee is not telling his own truth.(*) He contradicts something he teaches in … Read More