At the moment, I’m busy writing the ending of “The Girl in the Hard Hat.” I find endings both hard and satisfying. They are so bitter sweet. You’re saying goodbye to characters who have been in your head, day and night for the last however many months or years. And it is sad to let them go. For me characters are almost a part of my nuclear family. I worry about them in the same way I worry about my kids. When I wake up in the morning, some of my first thoughts are Luke (first born) can’t forget his googles again for swimming. James (second born) can take a mandarin for kindy today because I’ve run out of oranges. I hope Beth (third born) has a long morning sleep considering she was up most of the night and Wendy (the heroine in my novel) should definitely go visit Sharon (minor character )in hospital because that’s something she would feel she needs to do.
I’m constantly thinking about my characters to the point of obsession. Worrying about them, planning for them… thinking about how terrible or how funny, it would be if this happened to them next.
Endings are so important because you’ve just tortured these poor protagonists for the last 90 000 words and you want to finally give them what they want in the most wonderful satisfying way. I love my minor characters almost as much as my main ones. So often I have goals and stories to wrap up for these as well. So with all these story threads tapering towards that last word, I guess one of the things I have to work out is the order in which I tie my bows. I want to finish with the most important plot line last. Here’s the engineer coming out in me. If you think about an ending as a 3D shape it’s conical – like an icecream cone. Ever eaten a Cornetto? They pool chocolate right in the apex of their wafer. So the last bite has you thinking you could go another.
I want an ending just like that.


2 thoughts on “Endings

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