I have trouble with endings. When I begin writing a story, I do not necessarily know how it will end. Some people have told me that this is not a good way to write, but I find that it works best for me to write one "day in the life" section at a time. I have explained when I am defending my random order concept (instead of writing in chronological order) by pointing out that my writing style works as if I am meeting my characters and find out a little bit about them at a time, from different parts of their lives.
But when it comes to finishing a story, I often get stuck. Even if I know what the culminating event is, the denouement is still difficult to put on paper. It was most apparent to me when I was trying to bring a semi-autobiographical novel (my longest yet) to a close. I figured it was because I could not end my own life story, and so I didn't know how to end the story of such an autobiographical character. But the truth is I have this issue with every piece I write. The shorter the story, the easier it is to leave open-ended, so I often use a non-ending in those cases. But it feels like a cheap trick when writing longer and more in-depth stories.
I'm curious if there are exercises for this, or if there is a way that I can work through this issue. I don't necessarily see dynamic endings in those novels that I read, so I know that it is not a matter of going out with a bang. But those authors do seem to at least satisfy the reader with a finish of some sort. In fact, I'm not even sure that my endings are particularly unsatisfactory. I just know that I struggle and wonder if I have indeed finished the stories. Most of the input I have received on my writing has been about beginnings and broader concepts.
Case in point, I have a few really strong stories that I would like to submit to literary magazines, but I worry that my endings will weigh the judges' decisions against my work. I know that if I had more time to practice and just get words down, then I would have more confidence in this area. But the fact is I don't have time even to do the things that I do from day to day.
But no excuses. I hope to tackle this dilemma with regular writing practice. Perhaps I'll write endings first. Last sentence before the rest of the story. That just might do it...
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
I've finally decided to start a blog, apart from all the networking sites, in order to share with others the process of my creations. I intend to write about each of my crafts: writing, music, and making jewelry. I am hopeful that this blog will be as revealing to myself as it is to others about what goes into each creation.
Currently, aside from doing some recording at work for Kjos, I am seeking the opportunity to play my saxophone more often. I have been communicating with someone about the possibility of helping complete a '30s and '40s band, and I'm excited about seeing where this can lead. Someday, I will also get back to recording my own music, when I have a moment to try to sort out my "home studio." Time seems to be the missing link for most of my creativity.
I have not been as productive with my writing as I had hoped recently. Other than doing some random editing for a friend, and contributing as much as possible to Kjos editorial projects, I have only been rereading and revising my novel-in-progress called A Stealer's Hands. I'm very excited about this story about Reiki Lee, but I seem to be in a rut when I try to think of how to write all those missing in-between sections.
The most successful of my creative ventures recently has been the one in the most beginning of stages. Only about five months ago, I started creating jewelry and other handmade items, using mostly upcycled, recycled, and repurposed materials. I've been listing these pieces on Etsy at http://shannonbatescreates.etsy.com/, and it seems to be going pretty well, especially for not having done this sort of thing for very long. Here are some samples of my work:
Please feel free to comment on my blogs now and in the future. I would love to have some feedback from others in the process of sharing creativity.