Saturday, 17 September 2011

Your Pen On This Page

We haven't begun yet.

I know, it's kind of a letdown.

Here's the thing. Last post, I asked who are you? I didn't ask who am I because I already know who I am. More importantly I know how I write. I am an architect to an almost extreme degree. I'm not as nuts as some, but I have written pieces that were less of a creative torrential river and more of a constructed aqueduct. Before I begin, I know where I'm going and before that first sentence lands on my word processor (or smartphone as the case may be, or even going old school, on that piece of once living organism) I know where I am going to stop. I even have a pretty good idea about how to get there, which at times seems like more an added bonus than a testament to my creative rigor.

I'm working on something right now. It is not, in fact, a semi autobiographical meta zombie piece, but more of a young adult western horror self help kind of thing. When I say working on, I don't mean actually writing. Not yet. I'm not ready for that first sentence yet. I don't know where I'm going.

The best way to maintain that locomotive like creative drive through an entire novel, short story, play, or conspiracy theory is to know where you are going. Make it good. Make it worthy.

If it's good, you'll want to see it so much that not only will you power through to the end but that passion and tension will tug the reader along making her think Just one more page. Remember, whatever you make yourself feel while writing your piece will transfer to the reader. Your passion, your fear, your grief, your surprise. You hold all the cards when writing, so whatever emotion you feel will be felt threefold by the reader, as long as you've done the groundwork. We'll talk about groundwork later.

Thinking of an ending that's good is halfway to making an ending that's worthy. Worthy means your hero has been tested. Worthy means your hero's reward was earned and your reader can finally let out the breathe he held on page one. Worthy means your reader says, "I have to read that again!" and more importantly, "I want more."

I'm still thinking on my ending. Have you found yours?

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