The End is Nigh
So I gave myself a deadline of Easter to finish my latest work. That’s seven weeks to do a rough draft of the final episode of my Celtic fairytale. Eight chapters remain. So if I do the math that’s…’carry the one…move that column there…divide by x…and voila!’ That’s one-and-a-bit chapters per week to meet the deadline. Should be simple right? Strangely, I know how it ends and these final chapters will be fairly dynamic and taut meaning the words should literally fall onto the page (here’s hoping).
Probably what many writers go through when the reach that final twenty percent is ‘Will my end do justice to all that has gone before?’ and in truth you probably won’t know until someone other than you reads it. That’s not to say you shouldn’t read your work before you give it to someone else to read. In fact you should probably read it a few times. Whether you are entirely happy with it or not, the good news is you can change the ending. As I said last week, it helps to know the whole story before you begin but there can always be nuances and acts of characters that change to affect the outcome.
When we look at fairytales as the rule, the writers of each intend for that main character or characters to live happily ever after. They don’t get to the end and think ‘They lived happily for a couple of years until the mortgage repayments got too big for the palatial home(literally) they lived in. The family that they started grew bigger and those romantic intimate moments were fewer and further between so the prince sought refuge in the arms of another maiden and the princess locked herself in the tallest tower so she wouldn’t have to be dealin’ with all that guff. And there she waits till this day’. That’s probably not the ending you were looking for but it sounds strangely familiar doesn’t it?
The most important thing is that there is consistency in your ending . What I mean to say is that you simply stay true to the model that you have worked with for the rest of the book. The last thing you want is that everything seems to be thrown in as you try to create that big bang finale. While entertaining them, you may well end up estranging the reader in your attempts to impress with a box of tricks. Sometimes one very good trick is enough. Take me for example. I don’t really do flashy endings. One foot is always firmly planted in reality. It is the constant grounding that I need as I try and make my words relate to more than just a small audience. That’s not to say I won’t surprise but that surprise will more often come from one aspect than from many. In essence you are trying to keep things as simple as possible while still endearing the reader. It’s not that easy when you think about it.
While my Celtic fairytale draws to its conclusion, a new story is only beginning. Bonn, Germany is my family’s next port of call and home for the next few years. While we are there I will be very near those areas that the Grimm Brothers were inspired to write their classics. Tales such as Snow White, Cinderella and Rapunzel were all written in the regions of Westphalia and Saxony. When you look at their influence over the last two hundred years I can’t think of a better place to start my next story.