Good endings. by Deborah Jenkins

 In real life, I'm not good with endings. When full stops hover, in relation to anything really - job, location, an unavailable breakfast cereal - I dislike the idea of change. It's strange because I also get bored easily and often long for it, but change in principle is not the same as the real thing.

I've experienced some quite major changes in my life. Some I chose for myself - going to live abroad, changing jobs, moving out of London. Others were thrust upon me - sight and hearing loss for example or losing a loved one. All change can be stressful whether you desire it or not but endings mean beginnings. And that's true for writers too.

Strangely, in writing, I never have a problem with endings. I always know how a story will start and end. Or an article, or a blog post like this one. How I'm going to get there - that's the problem.

I thought I'd look at some of the endings I've enjoyed, ones that stayed with me after I've turned the last page.

1. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier: 'And the ashes blew towards us with the salt wind from the sea.' I love this partly because the sea is such a strong presence in the story. And despite the darkness of the book, represented by the ashes, the flavour of salt is somehow hopeful.

2. Oh William! Elizabeth Strout: 'We are all mysteries is what I mean. This may be the only thing in the world I know to be true.' I like this because it's so true and her books are all about human nature, the quirkiness and beauty and unpredictability of it.

3. Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell: 'After all, tomorrow is another day.' This is something we all need to be reminded of at times. I read Gone with the Wind as a teenager and this is still one of my favourite endings.

4. Charlotte's Web, E B White: 'It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both.' Not sure if my family and friends would agree with this (!), but I'd be very happy to have it on my gravestone.

5. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens: 'So, as Tiny Tim observed, god bless us every one.' No further comment needed really.

Good endings are important. Sometimes it takes me as long to craft the final few words of a piece as it does to write the rest of it. Sometimes I'm writing towards an ending then realise I'm already there.

I've been writing monthly for the More than Writers' blog since its inception. I can't quite remember when that was -2014? I may be wrong but I think I've only missed one post and that was a couple of months ago when Susan Sanderson kindly filled in for me. I don't like letting people down and after a good honest look at my other commitments - including my own blog which I haven't written since March - I decided it was time for an ending. I don't like endings.

But good endings, in my book, should be hopeful as well as realistic. Because endings mean beginnings. Who knows where God will take us in our writing next?

What are you like with endings and which ones from books have stayed with you?

Deborah Jenkins is the author of Braver, published by  Fairlight Books.


It's available from local bookshops, also Waterstones , Blackwell's and online - Amazon worldwide.


Deborah has also written textbooks, educational articles and a novella, The Evenness of Thingsavailable in both paperback and e-book.

 

She likes to wander aloud about the crazy, inspiring and inappropriate, on her blog at stillwonderinghere.net 




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