Thursday, January 26, 2012

I'm denouementing. And whining.

Lots of writers say they don't like writing the middle of their stories, especially novels because they (the middles) are just so...effing...long.

Yeah, that can be a problem. Friend/mentor/really cool lady Pat Giff says we should keep making the problem (conflict) worse for the main character during this time. That has helped me a lot to get through those pesky long middles.

Me? I'm no fan of the denouement, the very very end of the story where everything wraps up. According to this source, which is not wikipedia,*  "Denouement is usually the final scene or chapter in which any necessary, and, as yet unmade, clarifications are made. The word is taken directly from French and means literally 'untying.' The French nouer is from the Latin nodare which was derived from nodus, meaning 'knot to untie.'"

Look! A graph! Or is it a chart? Or a map? ::shrugs:: I'll stick to writing.
My inclination is to write an ending something along the lines of "And then they died. The end" regardless of what came before that sentence, but apparently this is not an ending readers like. In fact this pesky denouement** is the only part of the Julia novel (which I've been working since...forever) that I have left to write. My friend Shelagh (check out her blog) said I'm not allowed to end this way. She is mean.*** 

How to tell I do not like writing that part of the book?  I'm explaining literary terms to you rather than just doing it.

In order to not have a predictable ending, I may have fiddled with the idea of the happy ending. I read recently, "You can write a good ending as some novelists do. You can write a great ending as fewer do. You could write the perfect ending as all too few do. Or... you could write the only ending. Ah, there's the rub. What's the perfect ending? And can the progression of the plot (i.e. the journey of the character(s) and chain of events) justify the denouement and vice versa?"

 I KNOW what the perfect ending is.**** I just don't want to write it because it may wind up being a little bit sad and I don't like being sad.

It's not like I am against happy endings in general. I love happy endings. (Shut up, you.) I just want it to be DONE already.****

 Fine. I'll do it. (After snacktime.) But I'm not going to like it. (But I will like the snack.)

What's that? You're worried because I seem to have completely abandoned Hazel?  Oh, on the contrary. She has some big news coming up in less than a month. But it's a secret so you will have to wait.

*Although they have a great breakdown of dramatic structure even though they are The Evil W.
**But I do LOVE to say "denouement" because it makes me feel really really smart.
***Not really. She is actually very nice.
****Because The Ending Fairy came!
*****And by DONE, I mean MOSTLY done. She still needs a good going through/editing, but that's different and way easier.

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