Imagine the difficulties of designing a house. Change the tiniest detail—add a couple square feet to the closet off the master bedroom, say, or make the ceilings on the ground floor six inches higher—and that decision reverberates through the rest of your plans. An architect, I imagine, must always have an overarching view of the whole.
It’s the same thing with storytelling: the best storytellers plan far ahead, and understand that each decision they make will affect the shape of what comes next and what has come before. The bigger and more unwieldy a story gets, the more difficult it becomes to maintain a clear picture of the aggregate. Too often in serialized media like television or comics, stories get away from their creators, and we, the viewers/readers, start to notice. (Does that doorway look crooked to you? Why would someone put a bathroom there?). A good storyteller must know their boundaries and keep their narrative within a predetermined footprint. A large element of this is simply recognizing when it is time for something to end.
Today marks the end of writer Joe Hill and artist Gabriel Rodriguez’s beloved ongoing comic book series, Locke & Key, with the release of its stellar final issue, Locke & Key: Alpha #2.