You have written a novel which draws the reader, line by line, through your intriguing plot by managing enough unpredictable events to keep them engaged. People stay hooked, wanting to know how the story turns out, because you’ve kept something back which mystifies them and makes them ask how is this going to end. Not revealing everything is an important part of readers’ expectations.
However, matching surprise and anticipation is not easy.
Neither is achieving an ending where you cleanly wrap up all elements of your story in a suitable dramatic way.
Conventional closed endings, romantic comedies in marriage, or tragedies in death, are not necessarily feasible, or appropriate. Total closure, for example Raskolnikov, in Dostoyevski’s Crime and Punishment not only pays for his crime, but eventually finds moral and spiritual reconciliation, doesn’t always gratify modern audiences.
The opposite to a conventional ending, an open ending, is one which gives a sense of satisfaction, yet still leaves some aspects unresolved. Leaving questions open can result in the story lingering in the imagination for longer as readers speculate about the ramifications of the ending you’ve given, as well as what could happen next. Today’s audiences often demand a more true to life ending, which in turn creates the possibility of a more emotionally complicated ending.
This Week’s Rant
I’m not sure if this will ever feature on my blog again, ‘cos I don’t like to read other peoples gripes but...
Sony’s TV advertisement for their new X Box war game used the words ‘mind blowing freedom of war’. It appears they've lost all perspective in their quest for money. I know these games are popular but I object to the glamorization of war implicit in these words.
It makes me wonder if they've seen the news recently? Are they aware that at least 11,000 children have died in Syria’s civil war in the last couple of years? What do they think of the hacking off of limbs in Sierra Leone, or the brutalization and rape of women in the DRC?
In my humble opinion, war is an aberration of the human condition.
There, that feels better.
Yeah! (bragging alert) I did it! I’m a nano winner! (Please note the award below – just in case your eyes glaze over at the sight of this badge - which they will soon do, as any participant who blogs, types the last word and posts the same award on their site.) I am gobsmacked (bragging alert no. 2) that I’ve completed it in less than 30 days as well.
My supernatural mash-up isn't finished, and I will persevere at a more sedate pace which won’t challenge my ability to remember which universe I inhabit. At this point I’m not sure if I’ll do it again. On the other hand, I have a friend who during childbirth swore to high heaven, never again, yet, as soon as the babe – a boy – was born told her husband she wanted the next child to be a girl.
So when the memory of my current euphoric exhaustion fades, (and I’ve cleaned the house and caught up on life outside my novel again) it maybe that sometime during this year, I’ll start to churn over an idea, and next November will find myself, once again, diving into the NaNoWriMo!
I feel one glass drunk
it was the sweetest red wine -
went well with pizza.
This is a helpful post – nothing to do with writing!
Join me on Twitter at: teagankearney@modhaiku
To all story lovers out there, good reading, and to those of you who write, good writing.