Where is “The End”
I’m at this point in my life where I am constantly looking back. Back at old videos, back at old photos, back at old posts, etc. So here I am, back at this post. This was the first post I ever wrote and published on my blog. How ironic is it that the beginning was about the end? Want to know what is even more ironic? I preached, repeatedly, in that old post that there is an end. You shouldn’t feel obligated to change things, to keep going, etc. Yet, here I am, going back to posts I thought were at one time finished, and keeping them going.
The reason I chose this post? I changed my mind. Simple as that.
There is an end, but it can always be changed, and here is why I changed my mind:
Fall of 2016, the last semester of my undergraduate degree. I only had my credit hour requirement to fill, so I had a chance to take classes I wanted, rather than classes I needed. I took an advanced creative writing class where the theme was “Ghosts.” Super cool, right? Anyway, we had one-on-one sessions with the professor. We were instructed to bring in a piece we wanted him to look over, and we’d spend the time talking about it. It was super generative and very helpful.
I brought an older piece that I’ve been working on, on-and-off, for the past year or two. He read it over, silent, for a good fifteen to twenty minutes. He stopped and said “It was fun.” I was pleased. I thought the story was done. I was ready to start writing cover letters and send it off to publications. Then, he asked me, “Why did you bring it?” I sat there for a while, mulling that question over. Why? Why not? I wanted someone with experience to look it over? I wanted someone to say “yay” or “nay,” to it? I wanted a lot of things, but I didn’t know how to respond. He clarified, “There’s a reason you’re still looking this over. If it was done, you wouldn’t bring it.”
That was so true. I wouldn’t keep looking at it if I didn’t feel there was something more. If I didn’t feel there was something I was missing, why wait to send it off? I didn’t have a good answer. Then, I remembered this old post I wrote, this post where I said there comes a time that you just need to stop. There is an end, and sometimes you have to force yourself to put it away. While I do think there comes a point where you start over-editing, over-writing, etc. I also think you shouldn’t settle. If you feel like something isn’t right, don’t stop writing. Don’t stop editing. Keep going because you may eventually find a better end than you had ever imagined.
So, I’m going to keep working on this piece. I am also going to go back and edit some of these posts because, let’s face it, they are definitely not done.
Be proud. Keep writing. Keep submitting. Be writers.
I totally agree! I sometimes get that – a comment that I should continue, or that the story needs expanding or a better ending. I try to give all critique some weight. Sometimes there is room for more detail (although flash fiction, by its definition, means eliminating anything extraneous) or the events are murky; but sometimes I deliberately leave things open for reader interpretation. The really cool thing is when people comment and I get 3 or 4 different “takes” on characters, events, metaphors, etc.,some completely different from what I had in mind. I suppose that is one of the things that draws me to more literary or experimentsl fiction – it feels more like art than just straightforward “here’s what happened, here’s what he said, here’s what she thought, then this happened, the end.”
Exactly! You said it perfectly. I love getting feedback on what readers believed occurred or what each subject might have represented. Having a tell-all story is fine, but I much prefer a tale that leaves people guessing, then they can apply their own lives and experiences into the interpretation. Thank you for your great comment!
Great post… and timely. I’m working on the end of my book now and have been agonizing over it. Thanks for the help!
No problem. Glad I could be of some help! I hope you get it to where YOU love it and that it is successful. Happy writing!