When a Story “works,” it makes you want to keep reading it or listening to it, or watching it. And what will happen next–while completely in keeping with its initial promise (a Western, a Bildungsroman, a ghost Story around a campfire, whatever)–delights over and over again. But the kicker is that the climax will be utterly refreshing. By Story’s end, the listener or reader or watcher has to be, at the very least, surprised and satisfied by the payoff of the Story’s initial promise.

via The Realpolitik of Book Publishing.

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