For my story basically it's about a cop who is victimized, and wants revenge on a gang that gets away with it. It's a pretty standard structure of story that's been done before. Usually in these types of stories the main character forms a revenge plan, but then things go wrong and he/she has to redeem himself. In some stories, he fails twice, each time with the failure having bigger repercussions. I was reading John Truby's The Anatomy of Story and he talks about it as well, about how the hero makes things worse and worse for himself in these types of stories, till they learn from it and improve their methods. However, I can not write an ending that I am satisfied with to my story, and have been trying for over a year now literally. The problem is, is that every scenario I come up with for the MC to do wrong and then have to get out of it, I keep painting him into a corner. Every scenario, he does things that go so very wrong, that he cannot get out of it and it it's a permanent repercussion for the rest of the plot. I was thinking of just writing it so that the MC's revenge plan goes right from the start, and even though the revenge plan would take long enough to last the last half of the story likely, nothing will go wrong. Maybe I could write it so that something comes close to going wrong but not have anything go wrong. That way I can actually bring the story to an end, without him being painted into corner. It's just usually in these types of thriller stories, where the MC has a personal vendetta against the villains, the MC's plan screws up the first time, which can lead to even more tragic consequences, and he then has to redeem himself or think up a new plan, which ends up working. Some stories, the MC has even more than one fail, before succeeding. But what if I wrote it so the MC only executed one plan, and succeeded without any tragic repercussion failures before hand? I asked a more experienced writer who looked over a lot of what I wrote and he said that I have a solid first half, with some good ideas in it. Before the third act, I keep wanting the MC to fail in his first plan resulting in a character getting killed, or something tragic of that sort, which repercussions can come out of, to build into a new plan. I suggested to him, that maybe there should be no tragic failed plan for a second act climax, and perhaps I should just have one successful plan only, since everything I come up with, paints the MC into a corner too much if someone were to die as a result. However, he says that the MC getting someone accidentally killed and then having to start over, is a huge descent for the character, and is the icing on the cake for the story. If I take it out, the story will really be brought downhill he thinks. But at the same time, I can't keep painting the MC into corners with every plan gone tragically wrong either. So what do you think? What's more important, if that is the case likely?