Acknowledging the Win
Universal Fantasy Dictionary
Spoiler Alerts: Encanto and Lord of the Rings
“It was rude!”
These were just a few of the accusations lobbied at Alex Morgan from the US Women’s Soccer team during their quest for the 2019 World Cup. Why? Well, after scoring a major semifinal goal, Alex Morgan didn’t just cheer and hug her teammates, like most players do, she pretended to drink tea, seemingly mocking the US team’s British rivals.
Bad sportswomanship? Others—not me—might think so. Memorable moment—for sure! Why do we remember this goal more than any other during that historic World Cup? Because Alex Morgan acknowledged the win.
In real life, we give our kids high-fives for every little thing they achieve. That’s great.
And in fantasy life, we must be even greater.
Acknowledging the Win is a hugely important component of Serving the Butter. It’s not enough to win in a book. Think of buttery ways you can acknowledge that win.
There’s a reason they broadcast not just the games but the medal ceremonies for the Olympics.
Some examples from movies:
Everyone bows to Frodo in LOTR.
A football player throws down the ball while another one pretends it’s a bomb in the We’re Winning Now montage in Any Given Sunday.
Basically the entire epilogue of Netflix’s Hustle.
If your WIP has a big win, think about ways to Serve its Butter by acknowledging that goal achieved. Even better if it’s an acknowledgment that’s particularly specific to that character.
Mirabel getting the doorknob at the end of Encanto was especially poignant because it acknowledged her win. At the beginning of the movie, she perceived herself as the most worthless member of her family. By the end, the honor of being given the doorknob tells her—and the audience—that she has succeeded in Becoming a Worthy Member of the Family Madrigal.
Now, please let us know your favorite winning moments in both IRL and fantasy life in the comments.