But it wouldn’t have half the power of a story in which Jamie and Claire truly conquer real evil and thus show what real love is. Real love has real costs—and they’re worth it. I’ve always said all my books have a shape, and Outlander’s internal geometry consists of three slightly overlapping triangles. The apex of each triangle is one of the three emotional climaxes of the book: 1) when Claire makes her wrenching choice at the stones and stays with Jamie, 2) when she saves Jamie from Wentworth, and 3) when she saves his soul at the abbey. It would still be a good story if I’d had only 1 and 2—but (see above), the Rule of Three. A story that goes one, two, three, has a lot more impact than just a one–two punch.