Okay, here we are. Our hero has learned everything he can learn. Our villain has pour his evil soul into thwarting the hero, keeping him from completing his duty. Now our plucky protagonist is no longer so plucky, but seasoned. He’s seen it all and has taken more than he thought he could. Now, it’s time to end this. Make the world right again. He’s made his fatal mistake, or so he thought. He lost it all and came crawly back to his humble roots only to realize that he found the answer right under his nose.
After having gone through all of that, he now has to gather his team back up. This usually means making some apologies for his own behavior and thinking he knew it all. Most of the time, he doesn’t, but now he knows it. Once they’re all back together, a new plan emerges. One that will crack the code. The difference? The code-cracker isn’t the protagonist alone, but comes from a team effort. Everyone, no matter what the talent, has something to contribute to the success of the team. Everyone.
They’ve made their plan and everyone’s participating, so now what? They execute the plan. They go find the antagonist on his grounds. They must systematically hunt down each of the villain’s henchmen and take them out in order to find where the real villain is hiding. But lo and behold, they’ve taken out the villain and prepare to meet him deep in his lair. They finally get the door open and…
He’s not there.
It turns out that while they protagonist’s team was out hunting down the antagonist’s henchmen, the antagonist has been terrorizing the locals using the protagonist as a scapegoat. Everyone is dying or being tortured. Maybe even a couple of the hero’s friends are injured, important ones. So now the hero and his team must dig deep down to find what can make the villain pay for his crimes.
To do this, they must regroup and come up with a new plan. One that can be the only way to resolve the situation. They must hurry because all they’ve worked for is about to go up in flames. One member of the team, usually the goofy one, comes up with a really good plan, then other pitch in and tweek it. The hero then comes in a leads the party to a final confrontation.
This is the big battle. The mage’s dual.
The battle will be hard-fought. It won’t be easy because the antagonist is smart and resourceful; just like your protagonist. Neither side is giving in easily. Ah, but our hero has made allies along the way, hasn’t he? (He’d better) The new allies will provide the much needed reinforcements. Sometimes, they might even have been the villain’s ex-henchment (you know, the ones that he treated badly or hadn’t paid them in months–or even years). Now armed with help, the hero finally corners the villain and forces a surrender. Yay!! The hero and his team has saved the day.
But wait! There’s more!
Now we must show how the hero has grown–yeah, you would think that it would be self-evident. This is where the “lesson” is learned and everything is put back the way it was…except now it is better, even if it is only in the eyes of the protagonist.
Well, there it is. A story from Act I to Act III, or from beginning to the middle and to the end, or whatever you may call it (some people don’t think the 3-Act structure exists, and that is okay). I hope you learned a little bit, especially you beginners out there. I will be posting more about writing in further articles so keep reading and, of course, keep writing.