Writing Raven


A Cherry on Top: The Crucial Beat of Heroic Transformation – the 15th beat of Blake Snyder’s fiction writing outline

This year, Writing Raven Author Solutions is breaking down the 15 beats of writing a bestselling novel based on the three-act structure for you.

The more you understand the power of the three-act structure and each story beat inside the acts, the better you get at writing a tight and engrossing story.

Remember the opening scene we discussed fourteen weeks ago when we began exploring Blake Snyder’s 15-beat plotting outline? The one that set the stage for your hero’s journey?

Well, the Final Image Beat is its reflection, showing us just how much your protagonist/hero/main character has grown and how their world has changed.


The final beat is the moment of truth, the ultimate payoff for your audience, the cherry on top of your incredible story.

This is where you show your readers who your protagonist has become after all the trials and tribulations they’ve faced.

You bring your character arc full circle and satisfy the reader.


How do you do this?

1. Reflect the Hero’s Journey – The Final Image Beat should serve as a mirror reflecting the transformation undergone by your protagonist throughout their journey. Show how they have evolved emotionally, mentally, or spiritually from the person they were at the beginning of the story. Whether it’s a small gesture or a monumental moment, make sure the final scene encapsulates the essence of their growth.

2. Use Symbolism and Imagery – Harness the power of symbolism and imagery to convey the significance of this beat. Think about visual motifs or recurring themes in your story and incorporate one or more symbolic elements to provide more impact. A sunset symbolizes closure. A blooming flower represents newfound hope. Get the idea?

3. Evoke Emotional Impact – This beat is your last chance to leave a lasting impression on your audience. Tap into the emotional core of your story and evoke an emotional response from your readers – joy, satisfaction, or even leaving them hanging if you’re writing a sequel. Aim to stir something deep within them.


Your turn

Use this exercise to flex your creative muscles.

Write two scenes—the opening and the finale—of your story.

Make sure the final scene packs a punch, showing us just how far your protagonist has come on their journey.

It doesn’t have to be long and involved. Think about framing it like the final scene in a movie. Your character has won the love of their life, solved the mystery, or stopped the bad guy. They’re riding off into the future happy.

(TIP: when beginning a new story, try this exercise at the beginning. It can give you insight into what should happen between the first and last beats!)

Don’t hold back! Let your imagination run wild, and don’t be afraid to get emotional. After all, that’s what storytelling is all about—capturing your readers’ hearts and minds with the power of transformation.


We’ve reached *The End* of this journey with Blake Snyder’s 15-beat outline, but fear not—there is plenty more to come with The Writing Ravens!

Next month, we’ll dive into Scenes and Sequels and tips for how you can use the 15-beat structure (or your preferred plotting method) to develop them in your story. Don’t miss it!

Cheers to Your Literary Journey,

The Writing Ravens

Writing Raven Author Solutions has all your writing resources for starting your first novel, or finding success with your twentieth. We offer consultations, worksheets, premade and custom covers, and more. We accept credit cards and PayPal for your convenience.

Grab your copy of Writing Raven’s Breaking Down the Beats Worksheet here: http://writing-raven.com/product/breaking-down-the-beats-writing-exercise