All that build-up – and the climax was distinctly anti-climactic.
We’ve given literally weeks of our lives to these people.
Built a relationship with them, travelled through their ups and downs, had our hearts broken when they did…
Then, right at the end, they let us down.
I’m talking about a TV series box-set, of course…
Joe and I have been watching Dexter, which is a great (if slightly grisly) series about your friendly neighbourhood serial killer. Funny thing is, he manages to be a better brother, father, friend than most “normal” people. The series always got us talking about something because nothing is ever black and white and perfectly simple…
…and it’s kept us gripped throughout eight seasons, which is pretty good going. Some episodes have been better than others, for sure, but they’ve kept us on the edge of our seats for most of it.
Because the story was superb.
But the writers fell at the last hurdle. I won’t include any spoilers, but… the ending was unsatisfactory. I think the writers lost sight of the characters and of their “readers” when they wrote the final two episodes and that’s a fatal mistake.
What happened in the end just didn’t ring true for me. And they pissed me off. Not because I think there should always be a happy ending; far from it. But because I think the ending should be authentic, and this wasn’t.
They forgot who their characters were and they forgot who their “readers” were (in my humble but accurate opinion).
When you’re telling your story, always remember that it’s not about you. It’s not about your product or service. It’s only ever about your customer and their adventures.
Do that, and you’ll do okay.
Vicky Fraser is a copywriter, author, and entrepreneur. She really did run away with the circus… but when she’s not swinging from a trapeze, she’s showing other copywriters and small business owners how to work with better clients, make more money, and stop missing bathtimes, first words, and dinners with angry partners. In fact, she wrote the book on it. Get your copy here.
PS I guess you could argue that fiction is different… well, maybe. But you still have to keep things real, yo. And although it’s not fiction, my book is a good example of how to keep things real and how to write for your ideal reader. You can get your hands on a copy here.