Thursday, 5 April 2012

This is the end

As I'm still writing my first novel endings are not something I've done much with, until recently when I started writing flash fictions. I've always struggled with writing short stories as I just can't seem to contain myself - so I was surprised by how much I enjoyed writing 250 word flashes. Even more surprised when two of them made the Fish Publishing competition long list! So it seems I can do really short and really long but not much inbetween.

I hadn't really thought too much about how my novel was going to end until I was in a writing class late last year and we had to write three alternative endings for our stories. My first reaction was that I couldn't do it, but do it I did and now two of the alternatives I came up with have been merged into one and I have a very good idea of how the story will end. It's only two weeks until I head off to Deborah Dooley's writing retreat in Devon, where I am hoping to get the first draft finished so it won't be long before I reach that ending.

In preparation for achieving this milestone I have been researching endings as I want mine to be one that leaves the reader satisfied but wanting more, but also has a really good, memorable last line. Here are some of the last lines I like best in books that I've read:
  • "Very few castaways can claim to have survived so long at sea as Mr. Patel, and none in the company of an adult Bengal tiger." Life of Pi, Yann Martel 
  • "So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past." The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • "Are there any questions?" The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood

10 comments:

  1. Amanda, good luck! I often cry when I type The End. :) It's such a great feeling.

    I love endings that relate back to the beginning of the book somehow, so I feel I've gone full circle. I always try to do that in my own books.

    BTW, I found you through the A-Z challenge. :)

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  2. Thanks Missy - maybe I will shed a tear too!

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  3. You just answered my question I put on another blog titled 'Flash Fiction' I have never heard of that term before and was curious but you told me. Very interesting...
    When I write 'The end' initially Ithink of how much work I have ahead of me to edit and make it 'just right'...it really is sort of a mixed bag!

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    1. Yes, the end is not really the end but I like the editing and I'm sure I will feel huge relief to have completed the first draft.

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  4. Sometimes I know my beginnings before I start writing, and other times they are nebulous until I approach them.

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  5. Endings are difficult to write! I usually end up looking at them with dislike--either because I don't want to stop writing about the characters or the world, or because I don't like the project anymore by that point. :P

    Great last lines.


    The Golden Eagle
    The Eagle's Aerial Perspective

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  6. Endings are difficult. I read all three of those books and only recall one of the endings - the one from the Life of Pi; It's cool that you have done work on endings and that you've gotten benefit from that work. I read your post twice, because it turned my editors eye on. Your writing is great. Take out 'as I' everywhere. It's just a trick I do to my own writing that changes the flow. Great post.

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  7. Thanks for your kind comment about my writing, Elizabeth. I hadn't realised I was saying 'as I' so often but went back and read it again after your post and see what you mean!

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