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Monday, June 25, 2012

The Pleasure of the End

Finishing an important task is a relief.
HA! The Beautiful End.
Finishing a book is a bitter sweet experience. It still involves an element of relief we experience as a writer, especially when it means meeting a deadline. But for me, writing the end means saying goodbye to dear friends.
I become attached to my characters while writing. I learn to know them well and understand their reactions. So when I type The End, I feel a twitch of pain at the thought I’m saying good-bye. That’s why I pay particular attention to my final scene and often add an epilogue. I want to know that the dear friends in my book will really live happily ever after when I let them go. I want to be sure they don’t need me anymore.

Mama says:
 "Take good care of my darling daughter or else..."
I feel like a loving mother kissing the bride and groom after their wedding and sending them on their honeymoon, but after this mom kisses her daughter a last time, she hugs again the new son-in-law and whispers in his ear, “Take good care of my precious baby or else I’ll twist your neck. Now you go on your honeymoon and be happy.”  
There is a French say, “Les gens heureux n’ont pas d’histoire.”

“Happy people have no story.”
 So it’s time to close the door and let them enjoy their happiness and lack of stories.



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24 comments:

  1. I laughed reading this. I bet your son-in-law is frightened of you! I know what you mean about the bitter sweet feeling of finishing writing a story. I find some characters stay with me longer than others, and I keep thinking of them long after I've finished writing.

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  2. Hi Helen, if my daughter sees the pictures I used for this post, I won't hear the end of it. But no, I wasn't telling that to my SIL, just before the wedding! I think I was fixing his tie. He's a dear young man. When I don't hear from them, I tell myself: No news, good news. I just typed the end last night and feel lost today.

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  3. Thank you Caroline. I like the book cover too. I think it reflects well the characters.

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  4. I am often excited and relieved and ready to go to the next pesky characters' stories.
    I liked the photos.

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  5. I get the same way at the end of a book. On the one hand, I feel relief, I've finished. On the other, I'm at a loss as to how to relate to a new set of characters.

    Morgan Mandel
    http://morgansbooklinks.blogspot.com

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  6. That's exactly why I love epilogue and sequels. I just love checking in on those characters to make sure they're still happy. The rule applies if I'm the writer or the reader

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  7. When I reach the end. I feel like a burden has been lifted off my shoulders sometimes. It's like I helped them get there phew!!!!

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  8. I love epilogues. They allow that last little glimpse as if to prove, yes, it was happily ever after.

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  9. What a darling post. I love the French saying about happy people having no story. I'd never thought of our books like that, but it's so true.
    I love epilogues, too. I most often have them in my full-length novels. Can't help myself. For me, it's a way of wrapping up the big story,and yet the epilogue is really another beginning, isn't it?
    For people don't stay happy all the time--things happen, life happens, and no...we're not happy all the time.
    Very well dont, Moan. I'll FB, etc.

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  10. Hi Mary, glad you like the pictures. I got them out of a very special album. For me it takes time to go to new characters.

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  11. Exactly Morgan, I too take time to relate to new characters after I type the end. I finished my current book last night and decided to put it aside for a few days. Yet I already checked it sseveral times and added to the last scene.

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  12. Hi Linda, I too love epilogue, but I have mixed feelings about series. I read a book where I still had a lot of questions at the end, but they would be answered in book 2 or 3. I never bought book 2 and 3. I was too upset and stopped reading that NY bestselling author.

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  13. Hi Mary, I hear you about the big burden being lifted. At least we know where our characters are going now.

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  14. Hi Jill, I so love writing epilogue. It allows the reader to peek into the Happily Ever After phase.

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  15. Hi Celia, count on me to give you French says every day! My Dad used to have one for every situation. But this one summarizes the situation at the END quite well. Let them go with your blessing.

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  16. I enjoyed your post about happy endings and how its always a bit sad at the end of the book to let the characters go live their lives. I'm sometimes surprised to hear other people talking about my characters because I still feel such ownership of them.

    Very nice pictures, Mona!

    Maggie
    http://mudpiesandmagnolias.blogspot.com/

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  17. It's very hard to let characters go, which is why they somtimes pop up in another story. LOL! But it is satisfying to know that they're going to go off and live a long, happy life.

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  18. Hi, Mona -- Most of my stories are interconnected, so I never really have to let my characters go. :)

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  19. Maggie, I like how you talk about ownership of your characters.

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  20. Yeah,Keena, hopefully it will be a happy life for our characters, unless we decide to mess it up for them, in a next book.

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  21. Hi Barbara, I like that, interconnected stories where we find back the characters we loved.

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  22. Mona - that is an awesome saying - Happy people have no story. :) You know I'm always sad when I type "the end," too. I guess that's why I like doing sequels because I get to catch up with them in a later book.

    LOL!!
    Smiles
    Steph

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  23. Steph, I love to find your characters again in different stories.

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