We all move in circles …
This post is a little later than normal as I am ‘kind of having a few days off’ which actually really means I am doing ‘slightly less’ and looking at the size of the list I created for myself for Easter weekend, maybe not as much of a rest as planned 🙂 That’s the thing about working from home. Contrary to the popular belief we laze around and watch daytime TV — in reality we do more than ever! So this list I wrote while I sipped the first coffee of the day made me realise maybe I just ‘have’ to do things! It’s just the way I am! Can’t not! That’s me and why one of my nicknames was The Dooer. There have been worse.
But I am doing it in a more relaxed way — she tells herself.
So as I was walking Rosie I started to ponder. And while the air has a crispness still and the mountains are frosty, the sun was shining. What a difference a day makes. Yesterday I was at a funeral for the neighbour’s dad, she is only fifteen and far too young to lose her dad — and as we walked to the church it was sunny and then it was snowing like a good ‘un. Later it was sunny again. Freaky. But today feels like spring. It looks like spring and I even saw a lamb in the field.
I got to thinking though about endings, being almost the same as beginnings.
Life is a circle and the ending is almost at the same point on the circle as the start. So what yesterday meant was the ending of one young life sadly, but the beginning of another, whether that means for those he leaves behind, or if you believe there’s more, then in where his soul has gone. And the fact that after a very sad service I had to go into town and post off the manuscript I’d been editing for a publisher, also was a lesson that life goes on. It has to.
Stories are the same and this is why ‘circular stories’ often work so well because we bring the reader back to the same place, but everything has changed. Be that in the thinking of the character, so they appear unchanged but the journey has been internal, or be that more of a physical barrier overcome, she can now walk again. Stories often have this feel of balance. I like that. Look at the story arc and you see the resting phase restored in the curve. Characters need to have been changed — or what was the point of telling the story?
One of the things I do like with endings is always leaving the reader with that sense of hope, much like our circle. It’s an ending and a new beginning.
Even the darkest ending can leave the reader with this sense of change and hope for a new direction. Perhaps it’s the unwavering optimist in me or perhaps it’s something more intuitive than that — do we want to finish a book with an ending so sad we feel despair? There has to be a sense of resolution, some sense of ‘everything might be okay.’ Right? I don’t like the ending to be happy for the sake of it, no. Or that it feels as if the writer is forcing resolutions to tie everything up too neatly. They all lived happily ever after is clichéd and unrealistic — even the optimist in me knows that. It has to feel like the right ending. But at the same time, a sense of one story ending and another beginning makes more sense to me. Reading is like walking along a path with these characters. Characters you have got to know well, care about, empathise with. You feel their pain and their joy and then we reach the end of the lane. Let go of their hand and watch them walk away. Back to their lives? To a new life? But that is where you leave them. I don’t want to watch a character walk away and sob from the emptiness they leave behind, any more than I want to feel that at a funeral. We live. We die. End of. No, that feels too much like what the point of the journey?There, for me, needs to be meaning, relevance. Hope.
I want to watch the character walk away and feel ready to let go of their hand, even if at first reluctantly — walk back to who they are. This is where I leave you.
What do you think?
I will be Blogging tomorrow as I have a piece for Fiction Clinic and then I will taking Monday off and resuming with In The Spotlight on Tuesday.
Have a good day all — whatever you do!