A Life Of Fiction LX

For those of you new to this WordPress site, this site is about me and my writing – and a little about my role-playing, as well. It gives readers a chance to sample my work before purchasing it on the Kindle store; and gives me the chance to say a little about the genesis of each novel, or about the process of writing in general.

 

In search of an ending: In writing novels it is very important to me that I get the ending correct – that I put down exactly the words which I want to say. Sometimes I will write the ending before I write the bulk of the middle of the novel. At least, then, I have something to aim for.

Why is getting the ending right so important to me? Well, the reader’s last interaction with a novel will be those last words, just before they see THE END and know that it is all over for another ninety thousand words or so (or how long your novels are). They will carry the memory of that ending with them – and, if they do not like those final words, then they might not come back for any more of your tall tales.

The primary motive for me, however, is to get things right, and for myself, not anybody else. If I can’t get a good ending then I feel that the novel, or whatever, is not actually complete.

I am, for a change, not going to give you any examples here of my work, because I want readers of my novels to discover the ending for themselves. I have never been that sort of a person who always turns to the last page of an Agatha Christie novel to discover who the murderer is. I want to find out such things the way that the novelist intended.

When I say, though, that I want to get the ending right it does not necessarily mean that there will be a happy ending, only that the ending will be apposite for the work. Life does not always have happy endings, and there are a few of my novels which reflect that fact.

Occasionally, when writing a novel which is part of a series, and where I know that another novel will follow (a novel which I have planned out) the novel may end with an epilogue which leads straight into that next book, hoping that the reader will follow into the next story. After all, who doesn’t want to know what happens next?

That is, I believe, the case with several Hollywood films, and I sometime visualise my books as films within my mind. The second Back To The Future movie leads you right into the third. The same, if my memory serves me correctly, with the second Pirates of the Caribbean film. The Incredibles film ends on a cliff-hanger, with a pseudo-Mole Man type character bursting up out of the ground. That film could easily have gone straight to another film. And so on; and so on.

Occasionally I prefer a downbeat or unexpected ending, in an attempt to get the reader to think. I give him something which he really has not seen coming. But I don’t like to do that too often, as doing something like that can sometimes antagonise the reader.

Of course, sometimes I just have an ending trail off…

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