Sunday, September 20, 2015

Happily ever after and then some

Read the fine print.

Recently I read an article by Dean Elphick entitled “6 Clever Ways to Achieve the Perfect Ending to Your Story”.  I actually use three of them in a confabulated sort of way.

  • First, I use the resolved ending because I like all my ducks in a row. It’s HEA for my characters--the nice ones anyway--and justice for those who aren’t so pleasant.

  • Then I write the twist in the tale because I don’t want to make whodunit that easy to figure out.

  • Finally, I take advantage of the crystal ball because the end of the book is only the end of the beginning for my characters. Elphick cites the final scene of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 in which we learn Ron married Hermoine, Harry married Ron’s sister Jenny, and they all have beautiful children who will attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry like their parents before them. That may have been my favorite part of the entire edge-of-the-seat saga. I like knowing what happened after the author wrote “The End”.

I like epilogues. In ThePenelope Pembroke Cozy Mystery Series, I tacked an epilogue onto the end of Book #6, Sam’s Last Stand. It seemed to go over well since several reviewers made positive mention of it.

 Read the fine print.

 So it was a give that TheDreamland Series would also have an epilogue at the end of Book #3, Ghostly Gambit in Dreamland.

 Read the fine print.

In a sense, the sequel to Where Is Papa’s Shining Star? was written because I just couldn’t leave my characters where they’d landed in the final chapter. Finding Papa’s Shining Star is, in reality, a book-length epilogue! 

 Read the fine print.

Years ago I wrote what is probably the best thing I’ve ever done: Four Summer Days, a saga based on an old family story. It’s going to see the light of day this fall, but I just couldn’t leave it alone. Therefore, Return to Morgan’s Mountain will follow! 

Read the fine print.

And, of course, I had to move forward 50 years in the final chapter of Dancing with Velvet because I couldn't leave Celeste and Kent just hanging. After all, they'd been through a war!

Read the fine print.

My philosophy of writing life is summed up in this poem--which is included in Off the Shelf,a small volume of short-stories and poetry recently published.

The Trouble with Writing
The trouble with writing is
you can never finish.

No matter how much you write,
there is always more to be written:
another scene,
another conversation,
another crisis
lurking in the wings
of the writer’s mind.

The trouble with a story is
it never ends.

So if you think you’ve written
the last chapter
of your Great American Novel,
solved the problems,
killed off the villains,
wedded the heroes, and
tied up the loose ends
of all the characters’ lives,
you are mistaken.

After the book
has gone to print
you will lie awake and think of more.
You will dream
of the unwritten scenes
and unspoken words.

In your mind
the story will go on

It isn’t over,
and as long as you live,
your story will live, too.

 It's always good to read the fine print.

Use the contact form on the left to request a free copy of the first book of any of the series listed above or the short story book and consider reviewing it--like it or not!

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