|Sandy’s leftover clouds in Massachusetts
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I finally found a way to close a story that has been alive and with me – in the developmental sense – for fifteen months. It’s the longest, most complex story I have ever written, still qualifying as a short story or novella, depending on who’s rules you follow. It really makes no difference to me. The challenge was whether I wanted the protagonist to redeem herself, to live to see another story, despite her horrific actions and questionable behavior. My final answer: a resounding yes.
It’s amazing how vested I became with the character. I’ve heard of authors who take on extraordinary experiences to get inside a character’s head and comprehend their wisdom. I wonder how often writers find themselves questioning the fate of their characters, do they decide to kill their darlings or give them a second chance?
Series obviously allow a main character to live on, otherwise they wouldn’t work, unless there is something out there I don’t know about. Whatever the case, an entire industry of fiction based franchises exists for this reason alone. I’m not necessarily out to accomplish this, however. But I wouldn’t complain if I found myself there one day. Perhaps I am nascent, having been out of the writing loop for several years to focus on my initial visual arts career and start a family. It doesn’t matter, in the grand scheme, as my rugged individualist nature leads me down the path of nonconformity.
So back to this idea of finding closure. It’s not true closure, per se, it’s a turning point. An opportunity to end one chapter to begin the next. I know, not a profound thought, but authentic nonetheless. Closure of a storyline is more important for the audience, no one likes to be strung along and left hanging as the story ends. I hate when this happens to me as a reader or movie watcher. Closure is an obligation to the reader, so the author’s career may live to see another day.
Here I am, running in circles with these recent blog posts, finding all roads lead to Rome, so to speak. Finding closure is in line with my self-exploration in fighting creative fear and writing for the reader. So, why I am writing this? Besides the catharsis it provides to get it all out there, I’m thinking maybe others will realize they are not along in their struggles as they endeavor to be masters of the craft. If nothing else, it’s a small contribution I am happy to offer.
How many clichés can you count in this post? It surprises me how easy they are to write when not thinking about it, but that’s for another blog entry another day.
2 thoughts on “Finding Closure”
Hi David, Interesting post. I feel like we are at a strange place with your story. Everything you write about here is about finding closure and yet, you also suggest that something more goes on. I haven't read the ending or have yet to feel the ending to your story. I am fortunate to still have that before me. You have a good short story, you might have a great novella, but what if you are just working on writing a short novel and you don't know it yet. There is always an affinity for our characters, we cannot spend that much time on them and just forget them. I also feel like creative ideas have a life cycle and I like to finish one and try another. I think that I need a complete shift to a new challenge, a new story. Otherwise, my writing would feel too repetitious, one idea like the next with the same characters. Even on series you see on television… some stories feel like they had a story line for the first season and the second season is not too good because they never thought they would come back. It is interesting to see where that takes the creative process. Interesting post. Can't wait to read the story. Be well. Ron
What can I say, I tend to be paradoxical. Closure is applicable to the immediate storyline at hand, but there is room to expand. Perhaps this is going the direction of a novel, that was never my plan, but I'm not opposed to it. But I don't want to wear out the creative either. I'm interested in seeing what feedback you come back with and I'll take it from there. Anything is possible, I have no rules.